Middle-age, Death is at the foot of your bed

You stand for a moment fitting your pack and wonder, is it too late for me to set out?

The dream metaphor is this:

I’m busy packing, gathering my things at the car. I have the lift gate open and I’m going through my gear. I am at Mount St Helen’s in the parking lot planning to camp on the mountain and it’s winter.

The problem with all this, and what you need to unpack metaphor-wise, is that it’s suddenly getting dark and you realize you don’t have a head lamp.

In fact, as you’re locking the car you notice you haven’t brought your gloves either.

In the logic of the dream world, in your made up parking lot with you just a sketch, you actually feel your hands getting cold. You sense the dark.

You stand for a moment fitting your pack and wonder, is it too late for me to set out?

You wake not remembering what happened and go about your day. You are older now, you should know better.

But there is a version of you in the parking lot still waiting for instructions. Still waiting for you, the artist who drew him, to finish the task.

Categories: identity, writing

Tags: , ,

13 replies

  1. In response to the title … my sister famously said to our father when he turned 60, “Congratulations, you’ve reached the age when you could go at any minute!”

    He showed her … he’s 90 now and still going, just not where she predicted.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A very memorable title! After years immersed in history books, my mind immediately jumped to the Middle Ages, etc. and all the paintings and carvings stuffed with “memento mori,” the inevitability of death. But still the artists kept painting and chiseling away and finished this stuff or we wouldn’t be able to stand around in museums admiring them. I’d give the guy in the parking lot a nice surprise, have DoorDash bring him a sandwich and some hot soup.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is so good. It’s made me feel very poignant, and unsettled. In the best of ways.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The multiverse of the dream world.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. There’s an old riddle that you’re trapped in a room with only a mattress and a calendar–how do you survive? The answer is you eat dates from the calendar and drink water from the springs in the bed. That brought this to mind. It’s unsettling but also opens the possibility of creative solutions.

    Liked by 1 person

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