Waning Hours

I'm imagining a rainy late afternoon. The dark clouds through the window are doing their best to mute all the hard edges. It's either the weekend or you just stayed home from work. Things have been getting you down lately and you're open for suggestions.

Those dreams that the kid in the photographs on the mantel had never seemed to quite work out. And you wonder how those young and hopeful eyes would greet you, if they had the opportunity.

The bicycle lies rusting in the back yard. Another memory left out in the rain.

Summertimes are long gone. And you're tired and your pockets are empty. And the echoes in the hallway remind you of all the people that aren't in the other room. For reasons that are neither here nor there, they're no longer around. At least, not around here.

But the skeletons in the closet always seem to keep you company. You've managed to make peace with them for the most part. Like a pain in your back you've had for years...at some point it becomes a source of comfort.

So you're sitting in your favorite room, in your favorite chair, and one of those great songs comes on the radio. You know the ones -- the lyrics summarize exactly how you're feeling at that moment and the tune is sad and beautiful and the tempo perfectly matches your inner beat.

And your mind starts wandering everywhere, covering the various terrains of your consciousness. Fueled by the music, you journey the pits and valleys and peaks. You think about acts of senseless cruelty you have witnessed being perpetrated by good, honest citizens. And you think about brave and humble acts of human kindness. And the thunder cracks, and you think of wars and bowling alleys and forest fires and the lines between us all.

And in one moment of clarity, you understand that you're exactly where you were meant to be and that time does have cracks that we can slip into.

And you find yourself holding the hand of a childhood friend. Walking a path through an open field, hopping fences and resting beside a creek. Neither of you says a word. But you both seem to instinctively know why you're here. Drifting now, on a make-shift raft, towards an endless horizon.

The rain against the window, which so effectively provided a backdrop for this moving picture, now breaks the spell. And with a mix of melancholy and contentment, you gather your bearings and get on with your day.


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