By: Reese Scott
It took time to get out of bed now. His legs hurt. His feet were swollen. His face was
cracking. Age isn’t kind. Mr. Foldoff had thought he would never get old. Now he hides from his children so they can’t put him away.
Mr. Foldoff has promised he will never go to an old age home and watch himself and the people around him disintegrate with anti-psychotics and the hatred that’s in the air.
The only thing he looked forward to was drinking. He was told to stop. But that was ridiculous. I’m seventy-seven years old. I think I’ve served my time so I think I’m mature enough to make that decision.
Underneath all this, Mr. Foldoff found it ridiculous. Who made these rules that when you grow old you are no longer a man but a child. He knew his body was filled with hatred. From the lies as you grow older you become wise. That was one of the worst lies he has to live with. When the truth is when you grow older you are looked down upon. Mr. Foldoff would walk down the street just to see if people would make contact with him. Nobody looked. It was like he was contaminated and if people looked at him they would suddenly turn old.
On the weekends he would spend his time in the library. Looking through old books that reminded him of the dreams he had when he was young. That made him look back to when things were exciting.
If he could take one day back, it wouldn’t be the day his wife died. No. In a strange way it no longer mattered. No it was something different. It was an afternoon and he was young. He went to the zoo with some people he knew. By the time they got there it was raining. They walked from cage to cage. Looking but not really seeing. Until he found himself at the monkey cage.
He couldn’t believe what he saw. It looked like he was staring into his future.
As he remembered this his fists clenched, ignoring the pain of his arthritis.
He stood in front of the cage. There were two monkeys. One was very young. He was jumping from branch to branch. He looked so happy. Then behind him was his mother. She didn’t move. She just stared at nothing. Her eyes looked dead. And she had the aura that said, “My god why?”
He could never forget that day. Nor did he want to.
By this time in his life his closest friend was his enemy. It was the only way he found to keep him alive.