The Tragic Thing of Age

(90 sec read)

It’s sad, indeed.

As you sit on your sunny mountaintop, back and knees sore, you look down at the traffic in the valley. From up here, you can see everything, even the things the drivers can’t see, like those dark clouds on the horizon and the winds picking up. It only takes a few minutes before you make the decision to go down there and let them know.

Everyone is out of their cars, leaning against them, in conversation. There are hundreds of voices down here on the road, maybe thousands. They sound like seagulls.

You’re tapping on windows and tugging on shirtsleeves to point out the dark clouds, but everyone waves you off because you’re using the wrong hand signals and your pants are too high (or too low, depending on how long you’ve been up on the mountain).

You keep waving your arms because it’s the right thing to do. You’re doing this for them!

And then you see it, the small unpaved road that exits the freeway, the one you know goes around the hill in front of them, the one that will completely evade the storm that’s building on the horizon. That’s the one.

You keep pointing at the road and pushing them toward the exit but it’s like being in a park of statues, like being the only one moving around in a child’s diorama.

Exhausted, you peer over the shoulder of a young couple who look friendly enough, but you can’t read their map, and so they give you a look.

That look. That look says everything.

That look makes you stop trying to get into the cars and into the conversations. And, as you search the overgrown weeds on the side of the road for the path back up to your mountaintop, you look back and notice something that makes you feel lonelier than you’ve ever felt.

You realize these people aren’t in traffic.

They’ve stopped their cars on purpose. It was always a parade and now, without much intention, it’s becoming a town. It’s clear they’re going to be there for a while. And they could care less about what’s on the horizon.