i am this and more

About the Author
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Poems and more...
A Love Letter
A Word
Went on a Caribbean Cruise
I was
Ode to a Naked Mannequin
The Nightmare
Suicide
There's an empty space
When the tyranny
Sitting on a limb
The words are becoming
Left California
The Search
Thoughts
Another Thought
• A Short Story
We
The swirling simplicity
I'm a separate
The black hole
I've given up
The New
The Winds of Crete
A Song
A Message
A Question?
An Answer
And suddenly

 

 

A Short Story

Today we went to see the beautiful old man and the beautiful boat he’s building — and today he broke my heart — not because he’s blind and can hardly see, not because he may never finish a beautiful dream and sail to the Indian Ocean, he himself  is well aware of all those things and as he says, “It’s something to do.”  How lovely to enjoy the process and not worry about the end result. 

I sat down next to him, with Paul in my lap, and listened to him philosophize to Morry and Don and Graham.  So direct — so open — so inspiring to the three to follow their dreams and turn them into a reality. Then he said something about the powers that be and he could tell us about who causes difficulties. So, I asked him, “Who?”  And, whether in jest or not, he looked at me and said, “Women” and then with a smile he said, “you asked for it.” And I said, “Yes, I guess I did.” And we listened to his tale of three wives. How two of them got his houses but the last one he got smart about and sold it first and now he was building this beautiful boat, without anyone but himself.

Paul start to complain, he was hungry. Knowing that the others still wanted to talk, I took Paul for a walk. When we returned the others had finished their conversation with the “beautiful old man” and his “beautiful boat” and Don was saying, “To film him would take a crew and cost a lot of money. We’d need film of him getting wood off the beach, hauling it back, cutting it himself on his sawmill, watching him make his own screws, nuts and bolts on his lathe, all the things he’s devised to make work easier for an arthritic old man. It’s unbelievably beautiful and inspiring and it makes me feel like I’m old.”

My heart is breaking and inside I’m crying — film him, anyway, he’s a lovely but lonely old man, with a lovely, lonely boat. Yet, I know I won’t like the feeling it will give because everyone will say, “How marvelous!” “How beautiful!” “How inspiring!”

Later when Don and Graham left, Morry was telling me what they had talked about when I’d gone walking. I told him the “beautiful old man” broke my heart because he didn’t like women. Morry said, “I know” and smiled. I didn’t feel like smiling. I looked at him and said, “Maybe that’s why his wives took the houses.” I saw a quizzical expression in Morry’s eyes. “He didn’t know how to share himself,” I said.

Note: This is a true story.  The “beautiful old man” died quietly and alone in his sleep and left his lovely, lonely boat — unfinished.

 
         
 

© 2010, Doris Schachter

 

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