The old people know. They know and they won't tell us. They just sit there reading the paper, exerting more effort than seems proportionate to lift a cup of lukewarm coffee to their elderly lips with shaking hands. They move slowly through doors, opening them only as wide as necessary in that economy age teaches you. "You know, you old bastard," I think toward one old man as he waits impatiently for her to come from the bathroom, his mouth hanging slightly open in mild disdain at how late it's gotten in general, all those calendars he's had to throw away. They only talk about it when we're not around. They never tell us. Eventually we just figure it out, I suspect. They take it to their graves, the dead ones. Why won't they tell us the truth? Do they think we cannot handle it? Is it because fuck us, that's why? Here's one now, peering into her purse as though everything in there is strange to her, bewildered and bothered by all these things that aren't what she's looking for. She glances over at me and I smile. She smiles back briefly, and then looks back into her purse. She never says a word, never lets on, but I can see that she knows. I'm no fool. They all know and they're not ever going to tell us. "What's eating you?" the young man sweeping the floor asks me. I guess it was the look on my face. "Nothing," I say. He wouldn't understand. You can't tell anything to these kids.
Hello, friends. I hope you're well.