The day before and the day before and the day before that
The man who lives in the room next door never closes his door. He has jars of lollies for his neighbour’s visitors and he keeps track of who likes what. He holds the children’s hands and says ‘let me look at your eyes’. The children do.
The man we are visiting lies in bed. I’ve been warned, but still I am shocked. He cries because it takes him a moment to recognise me and we have known each other for twenty years. He will cry again when we leave. His television is big and loud, but it’s not like being there.
I watch for the man I am related to and think I hope he remembered to go. I don’t know which sign he would march behind.
Televised or live, The Last Post always chills.
The man who lives in the room next door is at the service down the street. He is strong enough to march. He joined the army looking for guaranteed meals, but I’m old enough to know it wasn’t as simple as that. He’ll be back in the afternoon, but we’ll be gone by then.
We will fill the space with a three hour drive and a family barbecue.