Five Minutes Ago

I am awake. Less importantly, I am alive.

One problem: I am not myself.

Like the persistent drip of a leaky faucet, my memory returns.


My name is Jim. Friends call me Jimmy.


I’m an ad man for a local TV station.


The drops of identity give way to a rush of time’s waters: Adulthood. Childhood. Family. Friends.


I am 27 years old, on sweat-soaked sheets, staring into the darkness of the apartment.

Despite the data, despite this torrent of remember, I am sure of only one thing: I’ve never been more terrified in my life.

Five minutes ago, I wasn’t sleeping in this bed. Five minutes ago, I wasn’t 27.

Five minutes ago I was 74.

I stood at her side for 50 years: I remember. I lay at her side while others stood and the doctors pulled our plugs.

We had joked about starting over. Wished we could be young again. Together.

I am 27 again, but not the 27 I was: with the new house and the pitter-patter.

I am alone.

And I can’t stop crying.

Five Minutes Ago was first published online for the now defunct ficlets, and is archived at the ficlets memorial.

© 2007 Jon Thysell. Some Rights Reserved.
Five Minutes Ago by Jon Thysell is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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