Looking forward to dying
When I met Jack-a-chack he was in his early sixties with a shiny pate where once a thick mop of hair had flourished for about 35 years, I was told. Nonetheless, he carried his bald pate with a certain ribald dignity and at times often seemed to revel in the fact that it designated him with wisdom which by his own admission, he lacked. I just found it plain endearing, the way he drew attention to it with jokes and one-liners.
If you looked beneath this surface of jauntiness and nonchalance you would find a person who was done with life and living. Someone who had already hung up his hat and jacket, put away his boots and was now ready to die. As far back as I can remember, Jack-a-chack had been waiting to die. To be gone from this world where he had lived and loved, married, procreated and laughed with friends to whom he gave generously of himself. It was to others a strange and rather morbid desire but to him it made perfect sense. He was done with his responsibilities, his health was iffy and he had seen and experienced enough for him to say that he had lived a full life. What then, was the point of continuing?
Every day he chafed and strained at the leash, waiting to be released from his mortal self. Without self-pity or self loathing. With an intensity that burned through every pore of his body. The universe turned a deaf ear. Clearly, it was not done with him. And Jack-a-chack continued to wait his turn. He dreamed of the moment when he would be free as the wind through the trees looking down on this world where he had left some remnants of himself. One day he knew his turn would come and he was ready for it. The bed was made and he was sitting at the edge. That would be a happy day, indeed.