Five Minutes Ago
I am awake. Less importantly, I am alive.
One problem: I am not myself.
Like the persistent drip of a leaky faucet, my memory returns.
My name is Jim. Friends call me Jimmy.
I’m an ad man for a local TV station.
The drops of identity give way to a rush of time’s waters: Adulthood. Childhood. Family. Friends.
I am 27 years old, on sweat-soaked sheets, staring into the darkness of the apartment.
Despite the data, despite this torrent of remember, I am sure of only one thing: I’ve never been more terrified in my life.
Five minutes ago, I wasn’t sleeping in this bed. Five minutes ago, I wasn’t 27.
Five minutes ago I was 74.
I stood at her side for 50 years: I remember. I lay at her side while others stood and the doctors pulled our plugs.
We had joked about starting over. Wished we could be young again. Together.
I am 27 again, but not the 27 I was: with the new house and the pitter-patter.
I am alone.
And I can’t stop crying.