Day 28

Still troubled by yesterday's thoughts of death and non-existence, I went out and visited Elsbeth at her Oxfam charity shop. I offered my help and was put to sorting out donations at the back. Great piles of clothing and odds and ends, most of it in surprisingly good condition. People have too much if they can give this sort of stuff away.

We ate sandwiches together for lunch. Elsbeth I guess could see I was not in good form so it was a subdued affair. We parted after lunch as I had to buy some food, and anyhow needed time to think.

Its tugging at my soul, this issue of existence and non-existence. Why do I exist? Why do I care? The world is just material and has no business being aware of itself. Just causes trouble.

Harry has not been around lately. Slightly worried. I hope he's ok. Its nice having another living thing around. The absence of life and relationship makes for a very cold world.

Day 27

Elsbeth said something today that troubled me.

We were talking about old age and lives passed, and dying, when she said suddenly that she was not afraid of death. Its not that I have a morbid preoccupation with it, but its not something I particularly look forward to. First there is the process of dying (assuming I don't get run over by a bus), which is unpleasant enough as our life fizzles out and we fall part. But more than that there is the death part. No more Aaron. I cease to exist. If I were just a collection of lucky cells with no awareness of self that wouldn't be a problem, but by some further fluke, this bunch of cells became "I", and "I" does not want to be extinguished.

And if there is some sort of afterlife, and all this talk of God has some truth to it, then being extinguished might be the best of all possible worlds!

Can I be blamed for being unable to believe something that has so little tangibility? I'm not looking for proof of God, just some sense of reality like I know the wind is real because I feel it and I observe it fluttering flags.

Lots of people seem to have this sense. Elsbeth has it in excess, hovering around her like an aura, an aroma, a breath of fresh air, a raison d'etre.

I have nothing but memories, many failures, a few successes, and a countdown.

Day 26

I decided today to face up to what I have obviously been avoiding that last few days: a walk to the park, and Elsbeth.

So I did, and she was there, just about to leave. Perhaps my face betrayed my feelings and perhaps she took pity on me, but anyhow she asked me if I liked walking and wanted to stroll along the canal with her.

This has easily been one of my most pleasant days in recent times. The sun shone wanly, full of hope, through cold clouds, and there was little or no wind, so we walked and talked together for miles like old friends.

I discovered that she is a widow of some 10 years, has one son slightly older than my children (but then I did start late), lives up the road, loves reading, helps out at the local charity shop, is an excellent, kind listener, and believe it or not is a devout Christian. What is it with my choices?? I can see Joe laughing wherever he is.

I think Elsbeth and I will get along just fine. We're meeting again tomorrow for another walk.

Harry has just made a guest appearance but is not interested in eating it seems.

Actually, neither am I, silly old lovestruck fool that I am.