by Michael White

Time is winding down for me. Once, I was the pride of the fleet. Staring down strangers with my eyes wide and bright. Telling them "stop here and take a look at me" instead of the others across the street or in the back. It's been years since I've had that luster. Now I sit and wait to see if anyone cares anymore.

I've had my ups and downs. For the kids I was used as a backstop when they placed baseball. Pitches bouncing of my chest and arms. That's why my skin is tattered and my bones hurt more than they used to. I tore a hamstring ten years ago when I tried to beat my younger neighbor in a race. Over the years the prescription on my glasses has been replaced a few times. Once from a punch to the face, others from natural wear and tear. I've been shit upon, called names and been left for dead but I'm still here.

It hasn't all been bad though. I remember the first time I felt a woman on my lap. I was younger than most of my brothers, but I grew up fast. That's how I lived my life, fast. If someone went full speed, I went to the point of exhaustion. I had good friends along the way. Some were with me longer than others. In life, that's how it works, you sometimes get passed around. Still, things were good. With a few beers in my gut and a dog by my side, things turned out allright.

It's almost over. I still want to keep going but I don't know if anyone wants me anymore. They don't look at me the same way. I'm more needy than I used to be and nobody knows how long I'll be around. This isn't the same lot I grew up in.

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