the view from the tram

There's an old man I see on the trams, every couple of weeks or so, has the look of decay about him. Emaciated, with wisps of papery hair clinging to the back of his grey-skinned scalp, ears grown too large for his frame, and eyes sinking into their sockets. The flesh of his eye sockets is so heavy, so ancient and stretched, that they sag open, revealing their raw pink interior, in stark contrast with the yellowed eyes above, like a basset hound caught in the pallid grey throes of chemotherapy.

His suit is neat, and pressed, although it is probably as out of date as he is, and I've only ever seen the one suit on him.

There are stories in the creases of his skin, stories in the way he moves, the way he holds his shoulders as he waits. Stories in the quiet way he accepts everyone's furtive glances, and in the weave of his well-preserved suit. A thousand stories, carefully gathered and held against the ravages of time.

But he has the look of someone who's never asked to tell any of them.

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