I don’t know, he said. It’s been so long. Fifty years. I don’t even remember myself, the old man looked in the mirror. There were lines on his gray face. Salt and pepper razor stubble. He placed his frail hand on his cheek and squeezed to try and bring a redness to it. But, no color appeared. Just stayed gray. His nose had turned purple.
He tried to think about old times. High school years. Girls in the back seat of his Ford. One leg lying still. The other up and over the front seat. Awkward positions.
The old man thought about being on the football team. Playing left guard. Trying to make room for his running back to run through a hole only to be confronted by a linebacker. Seemed like there were never enough men. Boys playing games. Big dreams of being something. Most of em joined the Army. One guy still pumps gas on the corner; giving back change and making coffee. There wasn’t much expected of him anyway, the old man mumbled. Guess there wasn’t much expected of me either, he whispered.
But, I saw the world, he said as he continued looking in the mirror. At least part of it. Saw a lot of dead bodies too, he thought. And I’m still alive, he said. Still alive.
Reunion, he said. That’s where everybody gets together and brags about what a success they’ve made of their lives. How popular they were in high school. Kissing each other’s asses. Yelling out, We made it. Made what? he asked.
Why go? The blondes have turned gray. The thin turned fat, he laughed. Might as well stay home and watch TV, drink beer and thank God that I’m still alive.
I guess it’d be nice to see some folks, he said. Then he rolled himself out to the front porch and placed the brakes on his wheelchair. He sat there in the evening sun.
What the hell, he whispered. No one would remember me anyway.