A Fear of Old Age
The dread, always, of coming to this: to sit day after day chain smoking in a soiled undershirt beside the cracked window of a fifth-floor walkup on Railroad Avenue with stains on the wall, dead flies on the sill, no hot water, and the cold water rusty; to sit smoking and coughing watching dust settle down, freights rumble by, and beyond the tracks the river flowing gray and tedious while on the other, the opposite, shore the distant lights of someplace else rise up in a glory more awesome than Rome and now unreachable as anyplace anywhere.
From Getting Lost in a City Like This by Jack Anderson. Copyright © 2009 by Jack Anderson. Used by permission of Hanging Loose Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.