Monday, November 8, 2010

Life and Death

As Hank was making his rounds one morning he noticed that some one had left their laptop on the park table. He glanced around to see if anyone was approaching to claim it, but he saw no one. "Well if it's just sitting here..." Hank thought. He sat in front of it and opened the small computer. Although not sure what to do with it at first, he saw an icon labeled 'chess'. Hank likes chess, so he tried that one out. He played on there for a couple hours before he realized he had to get going if he were to make it to work on time.
To keep up with his athleticism that his work requires, he jogs there everyday. This workday basically consisted of pushing papers around, nothing hands on.

After his daily grind, Hank realized something. It was his birthday today. He was turning into and elder. Because he had never had one before, Hank really wanted a birthday cake to celebrate the last birthday he was going to recognize. He was just getting to far up in years to claim anymore of them. Hank had never stepped foot into the grocery store before. He stood there for a moment trying to think of the correct way to behave. "Ah, just act natural." He said to himself. Still having doubts about his 'natural' instincts, he went and purchased a cake. Nothing went wrong.

Figuring he had spent most of his life in the park, he may as well have his little celebration there. He put the cake on a nearby table and lit the candles.

One or two people that Hank happened to know came over and saw him through his aging process. No one else seemed to care. Hank gave himself a look, and realized being in his elder years wasn't much different than being an adult. Just some gray hair, and a few more wrinkles. He told the company that joined him to help themselves to cake, he wouldn't eat all of it. The two that joined him grabbed a slice. When Hank turned to find somewhere else to sit, he saw a crowd of people heading his way. No one really cared about the aging part, but when the cake became available for grabs, everyone in the park wanted some.

Only a short hour after Hank's birthday celebration, a gentleman on a nearby picnic blanket passed away. Hank did not know the man personally but the people surrounding this guy seemed very heartbroken. He seemed to be well known and well liked.

Hank felt sorry for their loss, but also very tired. He did go over to the crying crowd and offered his condolences to a few, even comforted the woman he figured was the new widow. After a few minutes of consoling strangers, Hank went and fell asleep on a park bench. As he fell asleep though, he couldn't help but think of that man and the fact that he had just had some of Hank's cake. Hank hoped the cake had nothing to do with the guy's death. In the morning, nearly forgetting the previous days experiences, Hank bathed in the park sink and went back out to spend the day fishing.

Before he could pull his fishing equipment out of hiding a few people came up to Hank and introduced themselves. Hank tried not to be rude and talked to each of them in turn for a few minutes. When they departed Hank went back to his original plan. He caught a bunch of fish, but still not knowing how to cook them for his benefit he sold them to the local grocery store.

The evening fast approaching, Hank glanced around for an unattended picnic basket. He spotted one on a park table. Recently, a few celebrities have moved to Sunset Valley. Though Hank hasn't met an actual star yet, he has seen many paparazzi. Paparazzi notice everything. After Hank had finished his free hot dog, a woman walked by pointing and laughing at him. She mumbled something about 'always being here' and 'must not have anywhere else to go' then walked off. Hank, slightly disheartened but no where near depressed, just shrugged off her statements and said "At least I don't tail around stars just hoping for them to notice me." Hank had noted a camera in her pocket, and figured she was one of the new photographers only around for shots of celebrities. It was time to leave. Hank changed into his workout clothes and started jogging.

His work building was not to far away from the park, but Hank took his time getting there today. His joints did seem a bit more achy since he became and elder. Maybe it affected him more than he thinks. He did not want to retire though, and thinking of it, he didn't want his boss to think he couldn't handle the work now that he has aged. Hank worked really hard that night. Just to prove he could. Hank also got a raise, not promotion, just more money per hour. He was pleased with that.

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