My eyes fail me and my knees have turned into jelly. I can see the kids shouting yet I hear very little of what they’re saying. All my friends are gone and the world has changed so much in the last 50 years. I have to wake up several times to make an attempt to empty my bladder. It’s painful and tedious every time. Who would have thought this day would come? I used to feel proud at the urinal, peeing with one hand on my hip. I still place my hand on my hip but for a reason different from what it was decades ago. I’m always in pain. a blurry picture is what remains of the beauty I used to see. The earth spins slower than before. It’s almost grinding to a halt. The sun has turned more red over the years. it almost resembles a huge drop of blood.
I hate hanging out with my age mates. All they do is complain. Of things they didn’t do and a past they didn’t make right. Opportunities never taken and lovers that they were too proud to hold on to. I have seen better days. I thought my dream story would last a lifetime only to surprise myself in the end. I loved her more than everything else, yet I had to let her go. I couldn’t keep up with her complaining and dissatisfaction. She was never happy with where I was in life. It was natural for her to want all the good things in life, just to match up with the girls of her time. But she just couldn’t wait. Now I’m standing here in the middle of vast wealth that I don’t need. Riches that found me at the wrong time. I have travelled the world to all the places the curious child in me wanted to go. I have met good beautiful women of every color and tongue. I have dined with the greats and the most ordinary of folk. I have done everything I wanted to do and still I can’t get her out of my mind. The one I almost had.
The pictures in my living room tell of a gripping tale. Of a life that very few will ever get the chance of living. Of a past that I live in the present and the scary prospect of an uncertain eternity. I could give anything to have it all back. To relive it. I would give anything to have some of those cold, hungry nights I spent on empty pockets. I have everything now. I thought a mansion would make me happy. It made me lonely. I’d rather walk than sit at the back and be driven by my old friend who now calls me ‘master’. I’d rather skip my breakfast than suffer the prospect of abundance while the world outside falls in ashes. My left hand can’t keep still and this headache never leaves me.
I was there when they took over what was our home, now a mere province of the Union of Nations. When they took our children to depopulate the earth and redistribute resources. I keep hoping Nimi and Sally will one day walk through that gate. A parent can feel it when one of their own is not alive anymore. I am a sad man and I have not a way of holding back my tears. I never made any efforts to pray or read the bible when I was young and now it’s all gone. I can’t believe it’s now a crime to gather to pray. They say it interferes negatively with others’ beliefs and therefore a criminal offence. It’s a pity the child of today will never experience the warmth of the sun. Days are darker and times are hard. I want to die.
It’s funny how long the queues are at the wellness program center. I hear they can give you a life prolonging injection that will keep you young and add you 60 years. Why would anyone want more life? Look at them trying to smile through their suffering. Paupers that will never know the beauty of earning bread after an honest day’s work in the fields. They work for the order of the day and none have ever seen their master. They have never seen the money they earn. They are paid in credits and benefits. They work for a voice on the computer. This is all that is left, a race of hopeless creatures with no nationality and creed. No pride and zeal. Do they realize they lost their dignity even before they were born? Zombies, that’s what they have become.
I remember how it started. We took to the streets to demand freedom and liberty for all on earth. Our forefathers had warned us, that if we opened that door we would never be able to close it. We were too clouded to heed their warnings. We broke the law down and built it to suit our shortcomings. Instead of striving to better ourselves we brought the low to our level. In what was called the free world, it became a crime to marry more than one partner yet it was okay to marry the same sex and even adopt children. We made it okay for man to do as he willed. To be allowed marry their children and to be free to lay with the beasts of the field. We declared that love was just but an illusion. Our women became material and the men of our time became weak with greed. They could never keep their promises. We made the world ONE, all the while believing it was the right thing to do. Most of our leaders gave up their power to one man and they told us it was a new and bright dawn for all the universe . For those leaders, who did not agree with us, we vilified them and called them dictators. We made it our ambition to ‘free’ those under their rule. And we brought down governments and many a good man just to satisfy our selfish and most vile of desires. Domination. Control.
All we have left are shreds of memory of good days gone by. We were too occupied to stand back and see what we were doing to ourselves. And when the sun finally set, it set for good.
Freedom comes at a price.