The old man on the bus

 

His gaze was dismal. His face pale and furrowed by his old skin. And those eyes… almost inert yet burning with sadness as if they were looking straight into empty meaninglessness. What happened to him? Had he found irrevocable proof that the universe has no purpose, had he understood the absolute nonsense of existence? His face was like an ancient ape, the first animal in the history of the universe to become aware of mortality – the original simian that understood:

 

I AM

but I must die one day”

Oh poor old man!

Those eyes scanning the infinite indifference of the civilized world. Somewhere in the glimmering of his left eye I read his thoughts.

 

They were thoughts of a hopeful pessimist:

 

My life in shadows.
My life in this modern world
Splendid technological forms unfurled
Nobody knows the monster that’s been created
But who will listen to my voice recluse and alienated
If only we could invent a new auspicious religion
To bury our fears and escape ever-lasting oblivion

 

 

The old man stood up and got off the bus and sat by a tree. And then we rode off into other streets, other corners.

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