My Annie,

I am old and I am talking with my old smoking friend. I follow his gaze to glowing headlights pulling up to the nearby curb. She flows outwards in a delicate blue, her pearls against her pinkish hue. A man takes hold of her arm and eases her gently under an amber lamp. They talk quietly and closely to one another. Oh, to be in his shoes. His brown leather shoes.

I remember that age and I miss it. I look down at my calloused hands. My grey calloused hands. My grey jacket. My grey trousers. And I look back up at my grey, old smoking friend. He is watching them too. I miss following the orange ember of his cigarette.

I am going home, I murmur to my old smoking friend and he nods.

With each step the grey follows me and I am one dimness and I am one shade and I am old.

I am home now and I hang up my jacket and it turns green as I walk away. I think of the couple under the amber lamp as I pour grey whiskey. My Annie, I too once held you as if I had captured beauty; but you have faded as I am now.

View this story's 5 comments.