It’s coming for you. On this night, the wind steals your breath. Far away and around the corner, fires feast on forests, encircling beautiful barren woods, desiccated and old and exposed to the vicissitudes of nature and Darwinian law. And rushing forth from the sea, mammoth tides flood the sands on abandoned beaches stretching far, it seems, to eternity.
It’s coming for you. It’s your time, and nature’s justice. You can’t escape. A western cottonmouth comes out of hibernation and travels across the same road it slithered along last year. But now, it doesn’t make it. Lifeless, it lies still by the side of the road. On another trail, rattlesnakes that left their underground lair in search of food come to the end, a dark, breathless vanishing point on a dark road.
It’s coming for me too. It’s my time, perhaps. I’m not sure. I’ve got things to do and plans that might keep me busy for at least another decade. My body’s old but my mind’s fresh and young and vibrant. I’m not ready to go. Don’t think I’ll ever be ready. I protest. But the Lady comes into my home and gazes at me. I look away.
I scurry out of the house and vanish into the crowds. I hide amongst the living and the living dead. I spend a few hours in the Public Library on 42nd Street. Later, I visit the King Tut exhibition that enchants and thrills me. Then I go on the half-price line and get theater tickets to see The Phantom of the Opera. After the show, I stroll along Broadway.
Suddenly, the wind howls and I’m rushing through the labyrinth heading home. A storm’s coming and I need to lie in my king-size bed and rest. But tonight, I won’t make it. The Lady’s here with me in the wind. She followed me wherever I went. Guess I’m not alone, not tonight. I stop abruptly and turn around. She smiles wickedly at me, her dark, eerie eyes holding me in her universe.
I rush to the Lady. Now, she stands in the middle of traffic. She waits for me. I’m not afraid anymore. I’ve got a rendezvous tonight with her. Now, on Broadway, beneath the sprawling, glittering lights, she’s my date. She’s mine. And I belong to her, perhaps, for all eternity.