A Long Sleep

I have no fear of death. Must be wonderful, like a long sleep. —Katharine Hepburn

Sometimes, when she stared off into nothing for a long time, she could see the little particles of light-

(Is that what they were?)

-dance around. She was never certain where they came from or if they were even there-

(Was anything really there?)

-but she would look at them regardless.

They helped her feel less…lonely. Yes, that was the word. She was lonely. She hadn’t always been lonely, had she?

(No, once there were others all around her, weren’t there?)

Either way, she was lonely now.

She was old and there were very few who ever came to visit her now. Those that did would talk around her or at her, but not to her. They had tried talking to her in the earlier days of their visits-

(She still didn’t know who they were…)

-but she had such a hard time keeping track of the conversation that they often had to start it all over again every few minutes.

(She didn’t always make it that far, sometimes it was every few seconds.)

They kept coming anyway, though, and after some time, she’d come to appreciate the visits even if they were nothing more than companionable chatter all around her. She was like the rock in a stream, watching everything swim by but still enjoying the atmosphere of the little glade the river ran through.

(How their lovely faces would crinkle and worry and yet still hold so much love…)

She was smiling when her eyes closed for the last time.