Lapses – Lunacy – Lucidity

He stands by the tube doors hanging from the overhead bar. His palms are red from the strained weight of his elderly body. Dangling like an earring from a loose old earlobe. Stretched but not meaning to be. He’s wearing a polyester suit. Has that slack look to it – with rubbed nodules of fabric in places constantly grated, the persistent passing of bicep to ribcage, thigh on thigh. His black Velcro shoes look new, clean at least. His blue and pink Hawaiian shirt lifts at his waist exposing a belly full of years of food, beer. I say beer because he has a wet mark that’s blossomed near his crotch. A puddle  spread over the fabric like a pen exploding on paper right from the writer’s hand and without command to do so. He turns his back to me (a protest) concealing the spot but not the stench. His hand is over his mouth. He’s hiding from the smell with overt motions, those demonstrated by angry toddlers. Talking into his palm. What else is an old man to do but claim lunacy when he’s wet himself before getting to a toilet, before getting home. I hope he’s got a wife at home or a compassionate daughter who will pre-soak the pants in a tub of water and say “these things happen, dad” swish – swish “we’ll ring the doctor, dad” “ask about a pill to help, dad.” He exits the coach, walks with his hands at his waist, more in front than normal. Resembles a five-year-old holding for a wee. He’ll go home, get into bed leave the piss pants on the floor next to yesterday’s lapse.

Tube shot

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