By Bud Lemire
I woke up feeling very refreshed and alive. But was thirsty, and headed for the fridge for a glass of water. That felt very good. Thoughts kept going through my head, like who else is alive. I am hoping someone else survived, and I wasn't the only one left here.
I saw that my bicycle needed air so I pumped some more air into it. Grabbed my backpack, and added a bottle of water to it. Decided to take a ride down to the Park and see if anyone was there.
I am glad it was a beautiful day, but it seemed that I was the only one enjoying it. In fact, I was the only One, as of yet.
As I pedaled the bicycle along, thoughts kept going through my head. That happens a lot with me. I did bring my camera, but I noticed over the 40 years that I was frozen in time, the battery had gone dead, and I didn't take time to recharge it. Oh well, if so many were dead, who was I going to share the pictures with anyway. I guess I'll just have to take in the beauty by myself. Sad, because I always loved sharing with others.
As I got to the park, I was amazed to see someone there. Some old man on a hammock. Hey wait, that's the same guy who was down there 40 years ago. Surely he wouldn't be alive now. I decided to check it out. As I got closer, I could see he was sitting on the hammock and his eyes were closed. Maybe he passed from a heart attack. I recall he had a beard and dark hair with some graying. Now he had a few strands on top, but mostly bald. Time can do that to you. Well, most people, except me, still had the gray hair I had when I was frozen.
I had to find out if he was alive or dead. As I looked at him, I saw a slight move of his belly, so he is breathing. “Hey you,” I said not too loudly, but loud enough. He looked up at me and smiled. I was so happy he was alive.
He looked at me and said “Haven't seen anyone drive by hear in years. Nobody is in the stores or houses. Durn virus must have gotten them all.”
I told him my story and he just kind of laughed. He found it hard to believe, but then again, it's hard to believe so many have passed. I asked him if he's been here for over 40 years, and he said he was, but in the Winter, he would go to the top of the hill, and there was a house there, he would stay in.
“You see," he said, "I've always liked camping out, and so this is perfect for me.”
I realized he had it made in the shade. Who could pick a better place than Ludington Park? I camp out there often, or I should say I did many years ago.
Looking over the park, it could have been just yesterday I was here. But I do know the trees have grown a bit, and it's hard to see the water with all the shrubs and grass being taller. Maintenance died and nobody to keep it up. I thanked the guy for the conversation, and told him I wanted to go check out the island, as it was my favorite place to go before and during the beginning of the Covid virus. He said it was his nap time and laid down on his hammock. As I rode my bike away, I wondered how long he had yet to live. I then thought, being where he was, was probably one of the best places to pass at.
I also was thinking, if he's aged, why haven't I? Then I wondered if one day it will catch up with me and I shall be 101, and just die of a heart attack just like that. I hope not, but one can never tell for sure.
I got to the bridge and saw that they did eventually fix it. It was some woman who drove her car off the bridge and damaged the bricks on it. The stones all fell off below and some into the water. I looked and saw there were no boats docked at the Yacht. Every summer there were many over that way. It seems so strange not to see them. I see the Beach House there as I ride along. Someone painted on it, in big letters “F*** Covid!” My thoughts exactly. I decided to take a peak, although I doubt I'd find anybody in the water.
I looked out and saw that this Beach would have been packed on a day like this. I thought back to when I was last by the Beach and can hear people laughing and screaming and daring each other to come into the water. Some would be relaxing in a chair on the sand. It was just way too quiet now. There's got to be someone alive out there.