the oldest of old men
Some old men take themselves up from what others might think is their last bed, when it is almost time, and they will walk out through the door of their home, or hostel. Clear headed and resolute, silent, they slip away unnoticed and are immediately lost in the swarms of the city.
The oldest of old men.
He walked like a slow puppet, with the strings that controlled his head and upper torso letting the strings governing his his legs and thighs walk on ahead, and thus his every step took consideration. Straightened up he would be a tall man, with meat on his bones, a mariner. This is a city of mariners.
He was making his path along the tiled walkway, built on piers, with the harbour an arm’s reach away, to the seawall and a seat there looking across to the spires they have built, where an old town once littered the shore. He slowly folded himself onto the seat, a woman already there, and she watched as he began to slide away to the ground. All his strings loosened.
She helped him onto his feet, a Japanese lady, and watched him walk, or adjust himself into his walking motion, towards another seat.
– where he slid away and fell onto the ground. He would have made no sound. Others came over and brought him to his feet, then he continued on and was lost to sight.