Getting old or falling ill could not be that bad.

You can lie back for long stretches of time and give in to the surge of thoughts that randomly prick your brains. Windows open up and you see individuals in a different light.

My father, for instance. Why do I often see him in his undershirt, feeding wood into the fire with nonchalance?

Or Patrick in his leather jacket. I fried an unpretentious egg for him the morning he came for a visit, the day after his grueling trek from the north. He grimly ate the scrambled egg then told me later that he’d rather have two eggs for breakfast.

I thought about it long and hard. Why didn’t he let me know while I was leisurely frying a lone egg? He could have easily asked: “Could you make two?” or maybe added: “Do a sunny side-up, please.”

I see him riding his Harley Davidson defiantly, without a helmet, his long hair flying wild. Sometimes, I am behind him, pressed against his back, exulting in the warmth it offers.

I see him paddling a boat near his lake house, he sitting on one end, I on the other. He is talking about his parents, what he has become, where I stand in his life.

“I do not want to live my life alone, you know that. You are the only person in this world I see in it. I will admit this is still scary for me, but maybe our combined strength is enough to surpass that trepidation? Faith is an amazing thing, I can believe in us.”

He talks about his plans: Buy a sturdy and beautiful sailboat, live on it for a year, travel to Europe, live on a farm, go and make a difference in some way.

“What do you think?” he asks.

He has rested his arms and let the boat drift, fixing his eyes on me, but I turn away to look at the dazzling dance of mauve, scarlet and golden leaves falling on the lake – alternately teasing and taunting.

For some reason, I can only feel the chill of November seeping into my bones.

Malum consilium quod mutari non potest.


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