Friday, May 16, 2008


by Katie Waldron

I’ve outlived my parents, wife, siblings and friends. My once tender skin has turned to leather; my teeth have been replaced by dentures, my raven-black hair with a cigarette-yellow tinged gray. I’m trapped in this wrinkled prison of an old man.

Two weeks ago, I was given a death sentence; last night was supposed to be my last dream; these may be my last words. (I mean those words, “last words,” literally.) At the end of my sentence, I won't be given a final meal as prisoners are. My last supper'll be a Meals-on-Wheels.

Ten years ago, I might have been bitter. Not because I was in my prime—not nearly. But I had something to live for: a wife who I was sharing my “golden years” with. About that term—I suggest all the AARP commercials stop using it. I demand they explain what exactly is golden about not being able to sleep for eight hours and needing to pee every three.

I was going to be a war hero. When the war came, I dropped the hero part—it was hard—and started relying on charm. That got me halfway through my 20s. Then that petered out; I needed to be something; I settled on journalism. I was never very good. At forty, other then having my wife, I had... well...

The only one of life’s questions I have really answered is that there are no answers. Ah, the irony—one for God, none for humans.

Consider this a legacy on the nightstand, not a suicide note’s goodbye.