Watching the old man

Watching the old man count his change at the hardware store was reassuring to him. The man had a certain spark’d arthritic nimbleness that eclipsed his eternal haircut and threadbare plaid shirt. This spark shone through the manner in which he tossed the change in his hand as if both searching for the proper coinage and playing out some Zen muscle isolation that brought him peace. This was reassuring to him because the man was clearly not dead, nor did he wish to be. One often envisions the solitary old man (for if he is out alone (at this age) one pictures them a widower or a bachelor) as muddling on the unforeseeable clock of his demise, counting this time with floating increments, and gasping through the minimal tasks that perpetuate his tedium. However, this man, with his tall yellow teeth grinned, let the excess coins fall loose into his pocket, and strode off through those automatic glass doors unbeguiled, unflappingly and immortally, to fix his toilet with the kit he had just purchased.

Critical Response:

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