“We know the man. We don’t want to see him, but he sees us and talks to us anyway. Dressed in an old suit that is not quite out-of-date, but not quite fashionable, he shakes our hand. We notice the color of his tie, the white of his shirt, the tone of his eyes. They are not faded, but they are odd, like paint made from ingredients no one uses anymore.
We pull our hand from his, and see in his alabaster eyes that he is alone. So very alone and lonely. Abandoned. His wife, his friends, his co-workers, his army pals and drinking buddies, his first crush, his first love, his first teacher, his first boss — all the people he grew up with, shared dreams with, strived with, suffered victory or exulted in defeat with — they are all gone, consumed by time, along with all the joy and the songs and the stories and the meaning they so carefully built together over a lifetime, like beautiful sculptures of ice.
He talks. He talks and he talks and he talks and he won’t shut up until his alabaster eyes tell you why: Talking is more dignified than weeping.”