Old Man Tom
We’ve all gotten old, of course. Even those who always scrubbed up a little better than others still get caught by the passing of time.
Tom was amongst the best of them, but he too was long-since retired and left out in the rain to rot and rust. They all continued to call on each other for years afterwards, until travel was just not possible anymore and all they had left was smoke signals. Eventually those stopped too.
When my father was still alive, he’d often take me to visit them, but even with his enthusiasm those colourful characters always felt a little separate from me, as if from another age. After he passed it began to feel morbid and my visits became less regular until… well, I don’t remember the last time I was here, but I had the urge to drop by one last time.
He was always ‘Old Man Tom’ to me, but in the same way that my father wasn’t always a fat man, I imagine he used to have another name, a strong younger man’s name. I doubt he was ever a ‘Tommo’, his bearing was much too elegant for that. ‘Thomas’ seems more right, I think.
Goodbye then, Thomas. Toot toot.
This piece inspired by an Elephant Words image originally posted at http://elephantwords.co.uk/2015/02/22/oh-dear-what-can-the-matter- be/.