He woke up.
He shuffled around his small apartment making toast, then shrugged on a sweater, pulled a hat over his eyes and swung open the front door. He knew he was old.
But he did not feel it. He walked out on the stoop, sucking in a large breath of crisp air, and admired the bright colors that autumn brings. He had never felt more alive.
He was old yes, but he felt like he could still take on any punk that needed a good thrashing. He smiled to himself. Maybe it was just old memories being played over and over in his dreams, until he woke up almost believing he was in them.
Then he realized his legs were stiff, he was alone in his bedroom, not surrounded by chattering voices. He could no longer jump out of bed and be on the streets before dawn, only having gone to bed close to two. He still got up early, yes. But now he went to bed earlier, and it took longer getting up.
He wasn't working to hold on to any penny he made.
His children visit him often, but even when they weren't at his apartment, shouting, laughing, and making a fuss about what he did and did not eat, he was not alone.
He had his buddies from his youth, always rowdy and always faithful.
He had his wife, who had died a few years ago, her beautiful smile still shining through the wrinkles on her face. The image of the day he had asked her to marry him, and to his surprise, she had said yes.
He had his memories to fill his days. He often thought of writing them down, but no one would have been interested, and he wasn't so good with words.
His morning routine was the same everyday. Walk down to the bakery for coffee, sit and talk to the neighbors about the weather, the latest Mets game or their grandkids. He would walk to the park, admiring the scenery that came with each season.
He would sit on a bench, and sometimes, he would look at the city, not as it appeared today but as the Brooklyn of his childhood. He would think to himself about the old days. He used to own this place; he used to be the best. He smiles to himself. Some would say it was a smirk. His name is Spot Conlon and he used to be the King.