I've been having these dreams lately. Or really, they are probably fears.

I'm imagining that I am old and grey, and possibly dying, and I am regretting not living for myself.

Not that I am a selfless person now, but that there is an endless duel between serving self and serving others. It is wearing me out, in all honesty. I would like to acquiesce to every desire of the flesh sometimes, not even for the sake of slaking of my selfish drives but so that there is no internal conflict within my tired heart.

It all reminds me of an old Ray Bradbury tale in which all of the men on a spacecraft are cast out into space and left to die.

One of the other men, Lespere, was talking. “Well, I had me a good time: I had a wife on Mars, Venus, and Jupiter. Each of them had money and treated me swell. I got drunk and once I gambled away twenty thousand dollars.”

... Hollis craned his face forward and shouted into the telephone. “Its all over, Lespere!”


“Its just as if it never was, Lespere!”

“Who’s that?” Lespere’s faltering voice.

“This is Hollis.”

He was being mean. He felt the meanness, the senseless meanness of dying. Applegate had hurt him; now he wanted to hurt another.


“What good does it do you?” he cried to Lespere. “Now? When a thing’s over it’s not good any more. You’re no better off than I.”

“I’m resting easy,” said Lespere. “I’ve had my turn. I’m not getting mean at the end, like you.”

“Mean?” Hollis turned the word on his tongue. He had never been mean, as long as he could remember, in his life. He had never dared to be mean. He must have saved it all of these years for such a time as this. “Mean.” He rolled the word into the back of his mind. He felt tears start into his eyes and roll down his face. Someone must have heard his gasping voice.

‘Take it easy, Hollis.”

There is no resolve to this post, other than I cannot be either Hollis or Lespere. There is a third character, who was selfless, but also sweet and rich in the soul and not bitter.

I need to find him.

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