Mind the Gap (IP)
By lisa h
It’s the gap that gets me; the chasm between how long I want to live and how long I’ve been given. That’s why I’m here, standing by the train tracks staring into the abyss.
There’s a quote I read at some point. Dennis Potter if I remember correctly. He wasn’t long for the world. Cancer got him. He said in his last months the apple blossom was the whitest, frothiest, blossomest blossom that there ever could be. Dennis was wrong. When time is counting down everything goes dark. Or at least shades of gray. There is no bright or beautiful, just dullness and a foggy mist that comes down over everything.
It’s all my own fault. I’d gone to the pier and dipped into one of those fortune telling booths. But the woman, the gypsy inside with her purple and pink sashes on every surface and dangly things and bells that caught the wind, she wasn’t wearing her usual smile. The woman grabbed my hand and said in a harsh whisper, do you want to know. Are you *sure* you want to know? Know what, I’d foolishly asked. The last date you’ll be on this earth, was her answer.
She wasn’t a gypsy, she was an oncologist. And the date wasn’t exact, more of a guestimate. And she didn’t ask me, I asked her and then insisted when she balked. I got my answer, the one I didn’t actually want, and the time scale stuck in my throat. *A number of years.* A lifetime of goals could be squeezed into that time. Or… there was the quick end, the train tracks.
The headlights of the train flashed down the tunnel, there is light there, I suppose. Moments to be treasured, hope to be found. As the train pulled up I thought how I need to mind the gap between reality, possibility, and list of maybe’s as long as my arm. I’m here for the journey, I think as the doors pull closed.