the difference between 50 and 80: a micro story

These bones are not like those bones, heavy and box-like, heaving under breath and skin. These bones - mine - are small and narrow. His are thick with age. Amidst the beeps and flickers of monitors and lights he is restless.  I have held this hand a thousand times before, rolled this knuckle between forefinger and thumb, mapping its outcroppings and valleys.  Eyes.  Two intense brown pools that tease, entice one with promise, and unfathomable depth. And if depth could be described as sound, his eyes were a slow steady pulsing, like a soft tether drum, or the recessed shallows of a heartbeat.

In the distance the doctor's voices sound like footsteps on carpet, muffled yet deliberate. They talk about the difference between fifty and eighty.

for my grandfather paul.

a story ©helenfcrawford

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