“Well,” he said with a mouthful of apple, “it’s been a strange and twisting road. I have left lots of disappointment in the shadows of my tread. I have left tears of happiness, anguish, and bittersweet memories. I’ve left behind things that I do not fully comprehend, rather carelessly, sometimes.”
“Is that all?”
He swallowed the apple, spit out a few seeds. Then, quite like a confused puppy, he tilted his head in rumination. “No, that’s not all.”
“No. But I won’t be much longer,” he said, much quieter, “Don’t worry. More apple, please.”
The man extended the half-eaten apple to his mouth, and he took another bite. A blurry crowd watched with anxiety, their stomachs flattening themselves, their hearts thumping harder as their mouths became dry in anticipation.
He swallowed the bite, and breathed steam into the winter air. His neck was getting uncomfortable because all the words were stuck there. He wanted them out, even if they came out wrong. “For every step I made, there were two mistakes left behind me. For every stitch, another scar was left. As much as I tried to change, I was doomed to the rhythms of heart. I gave my best to those I thought deserved it, for as long as I could keep it up. But I exhausted myself. I could not give so much away, so constantly, so fully, as much as I wanted to. I am tired.”
“Tired? What do you mean, like you need a nap?”
“No. Too much giving. Too much guilt. Too much overthinking. Too much desire. I loved with everything I had. I found, looking inside, that I had scooped out every dusty corner of myself in order to find fragments to give away. Even still, I don’t regret much of it at all.”
“Yes, my heart is tired.”
“Is that all?”
The stool smashed many daises after it was kicked out from beneath his feet.