He sat with a book in his lap.
It had been open to the very same page
for a while now. He had read that page,
but it had made no apparent impression.
Instead, he had gradually fallen into a familiar trance.
Somewhere in the background, a muted TV program
created a kind of white noise, perfect for napping.
Occasionally a word or some random phrase penetrated
his daze, provoking a spark of vague comprehension,
a connection to another thought, but before the onset
of any emotional reaction, the thought had passed,
as if it had never occurred.
Some people work a job nearly all of their lives,
but once they leave it, they don’t ever look back,
they don’t cherish any memory, they don’t care
about any of that anymore — finished and done.
Now he sat in his chair like that and didn’t care.
It was as if he could close his eyes and see everything,
but without the slightest movement of love or hate.
Yes, there were still things to do — he could get up
and do some house cleaning, maybe fix a meal.
As long as he was anywhere, in this world
or some other, there would still be things to do.
Suddenly light was filling up the room. Outside,
the sun had broken through the clouds, but soon
they blocked it out again, and as he had done
so often before, he closed his eyes and slept.