Images

Images flicker in my mind

Sounds, sensations, heady aromas

Faded echoes of what was

Sepia-toned snapshots of bliss

I run in fear from in the dark hours of latter-day

Turning to the warm, glowing comfort

That hibernates in my throbbing head

As the bottle is to the drinker

So the place within is my refuge

Though once it was without

I run to the yellowed memory

The all-but-forgotten laughter, the kinship

The effortless wisdom of youth

Rendered so foolish by unkind years

There we were, good companions all

Unfettered by the constraints that bear down

In the sober, later years of our lives

There we were, the landed gentry of our private world

Above the petty concerns of the unenlightened

Musing, opining, yet never involving

We melted into the comfort of that which was known

Only to the Chosen Ones

The code of the street was our shibboleth

The suburban lounge our Mithraic cult

It was secret, safe and familiar

We brave adventurers on a miasmic quest

Whose fulfilment lay in oblivion

We heeded not the cold, dark knowledge

That nothing lasts forever

For the here and now was too strong to cast aside

And so, we poured scorn on sagacity

Sent nagging thoughts to the abyss

And let the music be our guide

On that euphoric journey to who-knew-where

Would that it had never ended!

I turn to the memory when all else is pain

And the vision ahead is soot-black with uncertainty

For there is comfort in what is known

There is strength in knowing I once belonged

That I might belong once again

And feel the warmth of camaraderie

And the ache of runaway laughter

Though my close-guarded hope may be in vain

I scan the neon-draped streets below

Wondering what pleasures lie thereon

I raise my eyes heavenward

Watching, waiting, hoping for an answer

That never seems to come

And so, I turn to flickering images within

Afeared that they will one day be snuffed out forever.

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