Regrets and sorrow rise at night, old ghosts of half-remembered sin accuse with phantom fingers, jabbing from the shadows.
A promise broken, the hopes of others unfulfilled, choices made for all the wrong reasons… fear and ignorance behind most.
Rising, in a dream, is a vision of Uncle Willie’s death. Alone, on pavement at night with steam rising from a grate. Clutching a threadbare cast-off coat that once jumped from cabs and hung in coatrooms of offices on Wall Street. Uncle Willie, cast-off, with one hand reaching out. For no one. Anyone. Everyone.
And he fell. In the night. Alone.
On the streets. With steam rising from an iron grate icking his dirty white hair with hot indifference. In the night, on a littered street slick with greasy rain.
Mocha skin reflects in trickles of fallen rain congealing on asphalt, streaks of light stretching off, away. Eyes open, rubbery face melting away as he dies. “What did I ever do? Why?”
Eyes open to the end, but not seeing the answer. There is no answer. We have no answer. Pain and death come to us alone, always.
But some remembered Uncle Willie when the story of finding him hit the paper. Mourned him again when he was found and lost in the same moment. Hand to mouth… “Oh, Uncle Willie!” Tears, and the same pain of that awful question with no answer.