The Old Man In The Mirror by Marcel Braitstein

He was sitting near a window, staring into space. How did he come to be here? Only yesterday it seems, he had been hiking in the woods carrying a heavy knapsack on his shoulders. He had walked the streets of Paris for hours at a time. He had traveled in many lands, had built many things and was quite proud of his achievements.  He had been happily married and fathered children who grew from infants to toddlers, then to teenagers and on to adults. How quickly it had happened!

He slowly pushed himself up from his chair and shuffled to the kitchen to pour himself a small glass of wine, one of his remaining pleasures. He glanced at the mirror and for a minute he was frightened by the stranger looking back at him with an angry frown. Who was that old man and where did he come from? He looked vaguely familiar, and after staring at him for a while he finally recognized his grandfather.

“What have you got to tell me?”, he asked.

“At the great banquet of Life you have had your share and more, both from the main course as well as from dessert. Now the feast is over, and it is time to make room for the next privileged guests”.

“Is that all there is then?”

“I am afraid so, and you better learn to be satisfied with the few crumbs that still come your way”.

The old man went back to his chair by the window and enjoyed sipping his wine while staring into eternity.


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