I have trod upon the earth for nearly sixty-five years. The days have brought me along a cursedly circuitous path but not to come back a short way properly. My sort of long way seems more like the sort which dumps you into the barrel end of a shotgun or a dead-end in the maze.
But just when I feel about as useful as a nozzle on a wooden peg, something like this happens:
I hear a step on my porch. I flick on the porch light. I don’t see anyone. I open the door.
And there, sitting on my old wooden chair, I spy a bottle of drinking water which my neighbors Helix and Louis have left for me. Helix thought I seemed dehydrated when we spoke outside the community room at dinner time. I could drink tap water, of course; but we all prefer bottled and I had forgotten to replenish my supply. I take the bottle into my house, suddenly smiling, my step a touch lighter, the furrow on my brow easing if only a smidge.
I stand in my kitchen drinking for a few minutes. Helix might have been right. The cool water seems to revive my spirits. I take my phone from the table and select the message app. I scroll to Louis’s phone number. I hover over the text box for a moment. Finally, because Louis is from France and Helix has become bi-lingual since they got married, I choose the one word which is, in the end, the least I can say:
Then I use some of the water to make a cup of herbal tea and take myself off to sleep.
It’s the fifth day of the seventy-fourth month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.