Untitled by Matthew Davenport

“I was born in 1942 in West Virginia.I am not a veteran, never fought any wars. I watched the war stories on the television whenever I got the chance. I moved here (Barberton) from W.V. when my step father found a job and sent for my mother and I… People never take good advice.”

Been seeing this old man at the lake lately. He sits in a wheelchair, and I fear he is most likely homeless. His right leg is missing. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such an unhappy soul in all my long years on the Earth. He smelled of stale piss, a scent that radiated throughout his general vicinity and was so potent it almost made my eyes water. The gaze in his eyes… it was so solemn, so lamenting and desolate. Empty. He gazes across the waters of Lake Anna for hours, never moving, occasionally respirating in a way that warns of some sickness. I wonder what he sees? Phantoms of memories past? Perhaps, he envisions his children, or grandchildren, if any. Another discarded old man that no one seems to give a damn about. His looks are simply an outer shell to keep people away, it’s  his soul dripping from the words he speaks that lets me know he has been disregarded by most. There it lies on his tongue, vacant, bare, for all to see. Another lost soul on this broken road.
When he dies, who will mourn him? Certainly not the bricks and cement he has become so accustomed to. The stones will forget, as they often do. They have no care for a broken, forgotten old man, in this great big world of forgotten, broken old men.
“No one takes good advice.”


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