Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Born Yesterday

Yesterday evening, on my walk out for coffee, I had the pleasure of meeting Siti, a fetching girl in pink, 6 months of age. She was being carried by her gramma and introduced to the various sights of the evening - two dogs in a hurry, walking side by side, a sudden flock of birds wheeling south in the fading sky, the funny looking bule with no hair. As I chatted with gramma, Siti gazed steadily at me while gumming an index finger.

Teething, gramma explained.

Lying in bed later on, staring at the ceiling instead of sleeping, which has become my habit of late, I started to think about teeth.

How strange it is that we start out with no teeth, then grow baby teeth, then a whole set of permanent teeth (so-called), which expel the baby teeth, and then, in old age, begin to loose the teeth altogether, to end up, at last, pensively gumming a finger.

In the morning, I awake at first light, swing my feet to the floor, glad to be done with trying to sleep. I glance at a stranger in the mirror. A man old enough to be my father. This face has been folded and creased, crumpled like paper, tossed in a corner like a tattered blanket.

How can it be? Was I myself not born just yesterday?

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