Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Immortal

Once, in San Francisco, I met an Immortal.
At least, that's how it seemed.
We were in Chinatown, in a little park. It was a warm, sunny day, and as I waited there for my family to return I felt content with life. The city was moving around me, the air was mellow and filled with sound. The quality of the light was almost golden. It warmed everything it touched. I felt at home here, in Chinatown, in an America that was not American.

I was just standing there, smiling at the world, when an old man came up to me. His face was lined with life, and creased with joy. He shone with happiness, radiated contentment. His eyes were black, and knowing. He recognised me.
"Good day." he said. He grabbed my upper arm with a warm, strong hand, and shook it to emphasise his words. "Good day."
I couldn't tell if he was instructing me to have a good day, or telling me that this was a good day, or wishing me a good day. It didn't really seem to matter. Whichever way, he was right. It was a Good Day.

So I just stared right back into his eyes, and smiled.
"Yes. Good day!" I said, all positive.
It seemed to be the correct response, because the old man laughed, and let me go. he nodded, smiled, then he was gone. He walked so quickly, he seemed like a very young man.

I watched him until he disappeared from sight. For the time that he had been with me, it had seemed that the world had stopped around us, that all noise and activity had faded away. As he left, the world began to move again. Children shrieked and laughed, cars honked, the city breathed. My arm still felt warm, where his hand had touched me.
Nothing had changed, yet I felt somehow that this was a good omen. I had met an Immortal, and he had said "Good day."

No comments: