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Copyright Neils Christensen

Good-bye, Mr. Chip

By Jamie McKittrick

 

Time is ageless; Time is age;
Time is just a word on a page

H.R. Halbot, My Feet Hurt

 

Elmer didn’t quite feel himself. Actually, to tell the truth he hadn’t felt this good in what must have been years. But that wasn’t it. Elmer was turning eighty-six next month but in spite of a clapped-out liver, a bad eye and a spinal column that creaked with pain, he felt younger than ever. Though he was racked with the same old ailments they were now somewhat detached as if viewed through the wrong end of a telescope. He sat in the shade of the Pavilion Café drinking a cup of tea with his son and looking out across the park lake. It fractured the reflection of the sky across its surface into an indeterminate beauty. The fountain in the middle of the lake, Elmer thought to himself, looked cheap, just a ring with holes in floating on the surface. Nevertheless it sent up its plumage in such a way that it looked as if a giant swan were dancing out of smoke for him, lolling its neck and fluttering its wings in malleable succession. He didn’t usually drink tea.

“Dad, are you even listening to me?”

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