Bewildering Stories

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Challenge 102 response

by Greg Hansen

Simon Owen’s “His Lasts” set me to thinking about firsts and lasts. As near as I can figure, my first last and my first first happened within moments of each other, as I gulped mother-warm amniotic fluid one final time and then filled my lungs with cold, dry air.

Early on there were many firsts, but also a few lasts as well. My last diaper (at least I hope it was my last diaper). My last day of kindergarten. My first (and last) Filet-O-Fish sandwich at McDonald’s.

As time passes, occasional lasts tap my windowpane like wind-blown raindrops at the edge of a storm. At some point my last first will occur — perhaps I’ll finally get around to reading War and Peace — and when my life nears the end of its course I suspect the lasts will come in a growing torrent, a crescendo of raindrops and hailstones and thunder until... it happens: my last last.

And then... what? Another first, presumably; but of what sort?

Will it be glorious? Terrifying?

Joyful? Familiar? Lonely, confusing, empowering?

I don’t know for sure, but when I find out, I’ll let you know.

Initial first
to final last,
another life
is in the past.
A million moments
came and went;
a life was saved,
a life was spent.

Copyright © 2004 by Gregory Hansen

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