Posted in TALL TALES


Daisy: Would you still love me if I were old and saggy?
Benjamin Button: Would you still love ME if I were young and had acne? When I’m afraid of what’s under the stairs? Or if I end up wetting the bed?
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)


There are those days when you feel very good, and those other days you feel like you have been hit by an oil tanker. Either way, you are still able to discern one feeling from the other. Today is one of those other days. And I am very lucky that I know what it feels like to be so hit. I am supposed to be unconscious, right? Today is the beginning of the rest of my life. The funny thing is that although I have prepared so much for this moment, I feel inadequately equipped to live in it. So, now, in the middle of the night in my bedroom I am trying to figure everything out. I get up from the bed stealthily; my wife is a very light sleeper. I try to open the door, but the hinges actually groan. I conclude that whatever soul-searching I have to do would have to be confined to the bedroom. I need all the personal space I can get. My wife moans and settles back to sleep. I am very worried now. I need to move quickly.

I steal towards the vanity and try to avoid taking a look at the mirror, but this is nearly impossible. My gnarled hands are gripping the top of the cabinet, and my sunken eyes are staring back at me. I must hurry. My legs are no longer steady so I kneel, but my knees can’t stand the weight, then I sit. My breathing has become irregular, so I lean on the cabinet for support. Can I pull this off? I am a bit skeptical. Which drawer did I put it in? I can’t remember anymore. I need to make little or no sound. I can’t achieve that if I have to open the drawers. I crawl to my side of the bed, and struggle to get in it. It feels like I have been caught unawares. My back aches too. I close my eyes and pretend to fall asleep. My mind is a whirlpool, and my thoughts keep sucking me in. I shake my head as I struggle to be free of them, but it’s like being caught in quicksand. The harder you struggle, the faster you sink. I get off the bed again, this time, with less gentleness. I walk to the door and yank it open. I don’t care about the creaking. It doesn’t take long for my eyes to adjust to the darkness. I have lived in this for over two decades since my marriage. Using the banisters, I begin to make my way down the stairs. I wonder as I descend. What am I looking for? I know it is somewhere. What if I am actually losing my mind? There have been whispers. I just pretend not to notice anything. At this point, I lose my footing, and my balance. I can’t feel the banisters anymore. My breath catches as my body arches. Then it comes in contact with the stairs. It is numbing. But every thing explodes when my head lands. It is darkness all over.



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