Life in Reverse
posted May 22, 2012
He lived his life in reverse. He was born an old man, his mind barely aware he’d been born. He entered life alone, sitting in a dilapidated apartment while staring out a window. His bones hurt. He couldn’t see out of one eye and he could barely hear out of both ears and then one day he could. His bones hurt less and his hair grew a few more strands of grey. One evening he got a call from someone who said she was his daughter. It was an awkward conversation. She said she did not have anything left to say to him anymore after all he put her mother through. He didn’t have anything to say either. His apartment got cleaner and he had more money to buy things.
On his first day of work, he was escorted into a towering building in Manhattan by a security guard. The CEO greeted him by saying, “After 30 years at this company why would you steal from us like this.” Then he sat at the first time at his desk. He felt regret, regret before he and one of his colleagues pulled a scam to hide $50,000 from the company. They transferred the money, then they talked about the plan, then the last thing they said about it was, “This is a really stupid idea. We’ll never do this.”
His hair turned from grey to brown, he had a shrinking potbelly, people began to respect him more. His ex-wife and daughter began appearing more frequently in his life. His daughter would accuse him of never visiting or calling her, but then he actually visited her and called her. She went to college, and then she went to high school.
He divorced his wife and then they moved in together. They fought and screamed didn’t talk and then they talked, all the while growing more beautiful. His daughter shrank until she disappeared completely.
His wife and he fell more and more in love.
They moved out of their house and went to their wedding and then they just had dates, but less and less until it was the last one. Then he saw her for the last time, across the room at a party. He said, “Hello.” They smiled at each other and then he walked away. There were other women after that and other dates, but they weren’t her.
College, high school. He moved into his parents’ house and needed them more and more. He hid his love for them less and less. He walked beside his father and became shorter and shorter until he had to hold his hand. He forgot how to speak and how to walk. He crawled on the ground and marveled at the world and made joyous noises. And then it was over. His mind was not even aware that it was over, he only felt new, brand new, new.
© 2012 Kristen Felicetti