Down by the River
A sign painted at the top of the old building on the corner of State and Delaware announces that elegant new residences are coming soon to this location. Actually, they mean the location next to the old square three story building where the sign has been painted. I will soon be looking straight into the side of another 25 story or so building as I sit looking out the window and writing. That is another sign, one telling me to move on.
I found the perfect trailer, out in the country and down by the river, in Iowa last Autumn. I could buy something like that for cheap and make it a summer retreat. The drive into the nearest small town wouldn’t be that bad except when I wanted to hang out at the one and only local bar and get deep into my cups. On the other hand, drinking alone has its charms too.
Imagine the summer nights with the cicadas, frogs, and crickets singing, the night breeze stirring the curtains, or the grasshoppers, hummingbirds, and bees gliding across the yard in the bright summer light. I could saunter down to the river at the end of each day with some cold beer, a fishing pole, and some bait, and feel the darkness envelope me while I sat on a snag fishing and watched the sun go down.
I’d have to clean myself up sufficiently to make it into town a couple of times each week just so as people would not think me some old coot who’d lost his mind completely.
I could go to the small local library every week and check out books. I might even help out if they needed somebody with an eye for acquiring cheap and good used books. I'd help stamping and properly binding the books so as to be suitable for a lending library.
I’d keep State Street though, even though its time was past. I’d miss you too much, Dear Reader, to let it go. Who would be left to say, “you are who you think you ain’t,” if not for me?
My heart would never be truly broken again as I lived out my life as an old man down by the river.