I saw old age like I was peeling open a delicate silk curtain with my fingertips, peering out into an expansive and unforgiving darkness. Not seeing the dark does not mean that the dark does not exist; the curtain was closed, and I chose to stay inside. I did not know that the eternity outside was far more harrowing in flesh than anything I could foresee in my head. But I had surrounded myself with the trinkets and chores, the arrangements and tinkling sounds, the soundtracks and amusing visitors of a domestic life. Inside, where we are comfortable, we can feign our immortality. But once awakened, we cannot un-see our terrors or forget the cruel, stoic blitzes of time, assailing us with every absence and every next look. There is no waxing and waning. We have no impregnable ramparts. I have seen mortality, I know it well, and yet I cannot bear its gaze. I look away, as I would avoid the eye of a past or future lover, knowing that if I met his eye, I might step out of this present time into a place the heart could not forget. I believe I have seen enough, but I know I have seen only the beginning.