The lives people live or don’t live up until their death baffles me. I don’t know their inner worlds, but their actions betray their emptiness. -Intellectual Shaman

The Senior Center is where old folks go when they don’t have anything better to do. There’s a chess game there that never ends. A checkmate is a rematch and a rematch is a checkmate. And one man becomes too feeble to continue and another takes his place. I’ve been watching this game for days. The old men huddle around and give each other advice.

“No… you shouldn’t have moved there. You see, he’s going to take you with his queen.”

They tried the same thing with me and I told them, “Well, he sure is now! What is this, a community game? Shut the hell up!” Apparently, I violated unspoken rules and nobody wants to play with me anymore. Hell, I’m only 68. I got married, had kids, and they’re doin what they’re supposed to be doin; living their lives. This place is worse than death. If these men worked the 9 to 5 to get here, it’s been a slow suicide.

There must be a way out. There must be a way back to life. I strolled into the rec room and looked at the scattered books on the shelves. They were untouched; probably because eyesight fails when you get older and so does the will to life.

RV Living caught my eye. It was a manual for freedom. I read it, like I was reading the bible; like my salvation depended on the maps that could take me where time didn’t matter. “I’ll start out towards the Grand Canyon and make my way down to Texas. I’ll need a copilot, someone dumb enough who has adventure in their blood and a will stronger than iron. I looked at the feeble men hunched over their game. My answer was a resounding “No.” I didn’t even need to ask.

Like all “Great” things in life, they must be done alone. I sat there reading the RV manual when a pretty young thing walked in.

“Aren’t yah going to join your friends outside?”

I looked into her green eyes. “Thanks, but no thanks,” I said.

“It’s good for you to spend time with others; you’ll live longer.”

“Those men are already dead. I’m driving to Texas; do you want to come?”

“You’re so funny Henry. Really?!”

“Really.”

“My grandmother needs lookin after; otherwise I’d go.

“Well… bring her along.”

“You are too much!” She laughed. It was her way of saying “No.”

I had 3,883 dollars in the bank and a Honda I used to get around with. I sold my commuter car and bought a Winnebago. Leaving the Senior Center, I gunned the engine towards the setting sun. Chasing eternity is worth it. You’ll never catch it, but if you keep going, it’ll smile on you like a sunrise that never sets.

4 thoughts on “The Way Back to Life

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