The Slow Journey (Short Version)

The rhythm of the old man’s voice moves them forward. Tom has begun to appreciate the “serenity of nature” as the old man calls it. Although he’s not sure where the serenity comes in, since the old man spends most of their walk telling his life story. But Tom doesn’t mind. He loses the actual words; they blend together into one continuous beat. The sound of the old man’s voice mesmerizes Tom as they stroll down the path. He walks to the rhythm of the raspy voice.

At first Tom was frustrated with the slow pace of the walk. It is funny really, how the old man can walk so slowly but look as if he is in a race. Viewed from a distance, without the trees on the horizon for reference, one might think the old man was moving at a break neck speed. He walks with a sense of purpose, head up, eyes forward. His gait is even. His arms swing slightly at his side; his cane in his right hand. He is never without his cane, although he never uses it on these walks. Tom jokes with him, tells him he looks like he is running a marathon. Although for every three steps the old man takes Tom only takes one.

Tom has grown to appreciate this slow pace. The soft tap, tap, tap of the old man’s shoes on the worn bricks (he never wears proper walking shoes) helps keep Tom in the rhythm the old man’s voice has created.

At the end of the path they head in different directions. The old man calls out, “Same time tomorrow?” “Same time tomorrow,” Tom calls back.

“I love you Tom,” the old man says.

“I love you too Dad,” Tom answers, his pace quickening as he heads to his car.


At 12:58 PM, Anonymous T said...

The shorter story is good but the longer one is better. I agreed with your style when you choose what statements, metaphors, and analagies to keep. The longer version really shows a maturity in your writting, and in only a couple days. Wonderful!


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