An Old Man by C.P. Cavafy
An Old Man
At the noisy end of the cafe, head bent over the table, an old man sits alone, a newspaper in front of him.
And in the miserable banality of old age he thinks how little he enjoyed the years when he had strength, eloquence, and looks.
He knows he’s aged a lot: he sees it, feels it. Yet it seems he was young just yesterday. So brief an interval, so brief.
And he thinks of Prudence, how it fooled him, how he always believed – what madness – that cheat who said: “Tomorrow. You have plenty of time.”
He remembers impulses bridled, the joy he sacrificed. Every chance he lost now mocks his senseless caution.
But so much thinking, so much remembering makes the old man dizzy. He falls asleep, his head resting on the cafe table.