The illusion of life…A short story…

Early this morning, I decide to go for a walk. Leisurely, I stroll through the pasture, the green grass and scattered dandelions keep me company. “What a  great day to die,” I think to myself. The chirp of multiple birds lull me into peaceful bliss, the chattering of the squirrels bring a forlorn grin to my face. “Yes, I’m ready to go home. This world is vile and corrupt, death would be a welcome boon.” 

As I stride through the grass, I come upon a black-clad gentleman tying his tie in a mirror. His eyes are vacant orbs, not unpleasant to look upon, just devoid of any emotion. 

“Good morning, sir. You’re early.”

 I smile, good humor written upon my face. 

“How do you do, sir? How does the day grab you?”

“Oh, business is booming. I just arrived here from Chicago. How is your day going?” 

He smiles, and it’s not an unwelcome sight. I smile back. “I’m just out for a stroll, it’s a beautiful day to go home.” 

He nods and turns to me. Wordlessly, he points to the tie. 

“Do you need help, sir?”

“Please, I suppose today is Monday and I’m all thumbs today.”

“Actually, it’s Thursday and I’m thumbs everyday.” 

I take the tie in hand and lay the tie over. A couple of quick motions and the tie is tied. 

“Thank you, my good sir. I so dislike looking like a rumpled ruffian.”

“Yes, I agree. Looking like you did a combat roll from a dryer is the worst feeling in the world.” 

He nods. His gray hair moves with the motion of his head. 

“Would you mind terribly if I walked with you? This pasture is such a beautiful bastion of hopes and dreams.”

“Not at all. You’re company would be most welcome.”

We stride through the grass, and speak of flowers. Birds soar overhead, the squirrels leap from branch to branch, tree to tree. 

“What a wonderful world this is. I apologize for my rudeness, sir. I don’t believe I caught your name.”

“My apologies, sir. You may call me by my first name, Grim.”

I pull my contact book from my shirt pocket, and write his name down in the section marked “G.” 

“Is that one “M or two?” He smiles a little smile. His presence is kind, and his lack of emotions do him a certain justice. 

“Just one “M.” 

We stop by the stream and watch the water flow by in a burst of rushes. 

“You say you just arrived from Chicago, sir?”

“Yes, it was a business trip.”

“Do you like the rush of traffic and throngs of people?”

“I don’t mind it so much.”

“Well, that’s good. What brings you to this pasture?”

“You did.”

I smile a little smile. He smiles back.

“Shall we continue our journey through the pasture?” 

He nods, his hair follows the motion of his head.

“Life is an illusion, isn’t t it, sir?”

“Would you like to know a secret, sir?”

“Sure.”

“The illusion of life is that everything is important. The truth of life is only certain things are.”

“Interesting. So, why have you come for me?”

“Don’t you want to go home? Are you not tired of this vile and corrupt world?”

I stop in my tracks. His words send a shiver down my spine.

“Don’t worry my good sir, you will not suffer. I came to visit, to see why you dislike the life you have been given.”

“I don’t dislike my life, sir.”

“Then why do you want to go home before it is your time?”

“Because of the corruption of our government. Brother rising up against brother, families destroyed, innocent lives killed in the name of convenience. It’s all so…”

“Disheartening. I understand.”

We walk toward a huge white oak and sit under the shade.

“If I may give you a piece of unwanted advice?”

Wordlessly, I nod. He smiles.

“Don’t be so eager for the end of your journey. Focus on the things which bring you happiness. You’ll live longer.”

He stands to his feet, with a flourish he turns and bows at the waist. 

“Until I see you again.” 

Like an illusion of magic, he vanishes in front of me. I sit under the oak and consider what I’ve just experienced. Whatever thoughts of dismay I had earlier, I shove them out of my mind. “Today, is the first day of the rest of my life. Let the games begin.” As I walk home, the sky is streaked with orange which reminds me of the mercy of God, and a tinge of black to remind me that life is a precious commodity that should not be wasted.

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