Summed Up

Summed Up

A Chapter by TLK

He was born to fulfil his motto, to stamp it onto each and every part of his life: even though he never actually said it out loud. The motto was Too Little, Too Late, and the evidence of his loyalty to the idea can still be found everywhere -- in amongst the artefacts he has left behind, in amongst the memories of those who fail to cherish him, in the vacant eyes that stare from surviving photographs.

As a child, during his education, he developed the ability to express great fear of failure at some point after sitting an exam and before receiving the result. Yet, this is nothing but a prelude.

As a man, in love, he would let his charms pull his lovers alongside himself, while he pinned down their hopes and dreams with his resistance to self-improvement. Eventually they would snap, elongated strips of human tissue frayed by his lack of concern, and after they had irrevocably and irredeemably damned him he would try to apologise. The sorrow would pour out of him in self-pitying waves. He would make resolutions to be truer, live smarter, love more clearly. And they would not even turn the other cheek. So little, given so late.

Yes, he did have children. As a father, well... they did not think much of their father. He waited until they were truly unable to comprehend the use of their relationship with him before he tried to connect to them and then, left amongst the wrappings of ridiculous gifts and the empty shells of cracked promises, he would try to map out the course of their rebelliousness in his tears. As if you can rebel against the formlessness of nothing, as if you can refuse the gift of emptiness.

If you were to cleave his corpse in two now, that motto would run through him; as monotonous as a stick of rock.
This past year, I often saw him struggling with his health, carrying its bulk with him as he ran up the street. His jaunty tracksuits and immaculate equipment belied the hollowness of his fashionable tastes. Above this finery he looked hollow too, having spent so much of himself in a lifetime of excess. Wearing him down, in his arms, heaved the gasping walrus of the past. Its moustache bristled with the faded memories of enjoyments. They weighed his body down like anchors, his mind, too -- for he was not allowed to enjoy again what he had already enjoyed too much of before.  'Too little, too late', I would think: I never said it.

I am left to imagine his last moments. Did he, struggling to breathe, have a smile play across his lips? Did he, gasping, finally murmur those words which summed him up? Looking around, lonely, did he realise where all his best memories had run to, and what from?

© 2013 TLK

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a Polaroid in motion, black and white

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1 Review
Added on September 10, 2012
Last Updated on April 29, 2013
Tags: motto, pity, resolutions, promises, walrus
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Birmingham, West Midlands, United Kingdom

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