J.S. + D.J.

He continued on what seemed to be and endless journey. His legs were barely holding him up, let alone staying in front of him with each step. Starting down a short walkway, he noticed a post to his right that had been freshly cemented into place. He also observed the initials J.S. + D.J. written in the wet cement bases. He stopped walking and stared at the writing as if trying to find some hidden meaning. Hearing a faint sound, he turned and saw a man on a bicycle riding toward him. He stepped aside, letting the man pass and continued walking down the walkway. He noticed the same initials next to two other posts, and he considered writing in his own name.

Just a little while ago he had been trudging along an empty street feeling exhaustion spread through every part of his body. He got to thinking about the importance of his existence. He questioned if anything that he did would ever matter in the future. Years ahead, would people ever really care that he had lived?

Now he walked, passing post after post wondering whether to make a futile attempt to preserve his existence. As there were very posts left, he slowed his pace to give himself some more time. Finally he was at the last one. He stepped next to it and squatted down. He stared at the freshly poured cement. Hearing the sound of leaves crunching, he looked up to see two people walking toward him. Slowly he stood up. He gazed up at the sky and a few clouds passing slowly overhead. After a moment he lowered his head and gradually began walking again. The other two pedestrian quickly passed him without a word.

He came to a gravel road near the end of his journey. He looked down and then stopped walking. He lifted up his right foot and proceeded to write his name in the gravel. Satisfied, he continued on his way. He cut through the creek leading to his backyard and then he was finally home.

The next day he walked back down the same path. When he got to the gravel he noticed his name. It was still there, but it had a pair of tire tracks right through the middle of it. Quietly, he smoothed the rest of it out and continued on his way. Later he came to the cemented posts. He found the ones with the initials in them and stopped next to them. He traced the letters with his finger, thinking "They will be remembered, and I will not."

Ian Chase

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