Friday, December 26, 2008

For Whom the Old Man Toils

A couple of gravediggers are working the long end of their shovels, digging deep into an early frost and hard black earth. It is predawn. At first light the young man asks the old man: "Is this when the cemetery gives up the dead? When the souls rise up to meet the living?"

The old man stops digging, steam leaving his mouth as he answers ruefully, "You wannabe writers think to much for your own good. When this job is done all I want is a belly full of hot coffee and some warm bread."

His words make the young writer think of Hemingway. But these thoughts give way to a feeling of emptiness in his belly, and he too craves hot coffee and a warm slice of bread.

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