"Is that all there is, is that all there is
If that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancing
Let's break out the booze and have a ball
If that's all there is" *

The bowed old man ambled along the boardwalk. He passed the vendors hawking their wares at festively inflated prices.  He steered clear of barkers calling out to still naive gamblers willing to take a chance. He lingered behind lovers, arm in arm, seemingly just a hair’s breadth away from the inevitable tender meeting of the lips; until he found himself drawn to a hypnotic parade of flickering carnival lights from which the melancholy melody seemed to emanate.

The old man and his canine companion, ‘Cuppa’ Joe’ (who’s velvet coat bore a most uncanny resemblance to a cup of day old coffee with just enough cream added to make it palatable) walked in silence, drawn like tears to a willow, they inched closer to the ever so alluring lyrical lament.

As they walked, the old man voiced to himself that once the source of this sirens song had been identified, he would find a soft place nearby where he would recline, close his eyes, and allow his own unchained melodies to wash over him. He would savor them, like bits of cotton candy placed ever so delicately upon the tip of the tongue. And then, when their sweetness dissipated, he would once again- tuck them safely away.

Alas, the melodic mainspring took the shape of a fortune teller’s tent. ‘A particularly spirited venue,’ he ventured, ‘to have selected such a sorrowful tune.’

A brightly painted placard just outside the canvas proclaimed the possibility of revisiting past lives- “Lives you could not possibly remember!” ‘and more than likely should not’ the old man reflected with a faint flicker of a frown.

Together, he and Cuppa found a soft green patch, as of yet exempt of tossed paper dressed in whatever had been left over from lunch or carelessly discarded cellophane wrappers from sticky, sweet, red candied apples. A little piece of green, just large enough for a bent old man, his little brown dog, and an enormous encumbrance of memories.

The man relieved his aged frame of it’s threadbare pack, the valued keeper of all that he possessed, and setting it down on the soft grass, withdrew a small metal bowl and a goatskin flask.

He poured out just enough water to satisfy his little friend’s thirst and took a long pull of the cool water for himself, before replacing the flask and the bowl carefully into the backpack. As soon as he was satisfied that his trove was safe and secure, he leaned against a tall, curved stone, and pulled the worn brown brim of his once gray cap gently over his eyes.

With that, he bid the clamor of the carnival adieu and peacefully drifted away; allowing the sleepy melodic strains of ‘Is that all there is?’ to be answered by a much contented heart that had long known; that even if it is- for today- it will be enough.

Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt #writephoto

*Lyrics from, “Is that all there is?” by Peggy Lee

9 thoughts on “Enough

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