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SATURDAY, MAY 28, 2016
Thompson was a Gentleman. Not a gentleman, with a lowercase g. He was the type deserving of an uppercase - for not only was he a simple gentleman, but he also embodied everything it was, such that the only accurate description one could make of him was that he was, as mentioned, a Gentleman. He was reserved, and effortlessly exercised such humility in a charming manner, that he was the envy of all. Thompson had a single downfall, and one which he shared with no one but his own musings.

Overall, he was a happy man. He had little to complain about, and of the things he could complain about, as a Gentleman he sought to criticize them in a productive manner, rather than become their victim. He was steadfast in his principals, a firm and resolute one. Of course, he was receptive to differing opinions, and would listen fully engaged in the words of others. He was not idle, or passive. Nor was he stubborn, and on occasion in which he found himself mistaken he sought to correct himself. For these reasons, he was well liked, and quite appreciated by those he described as friends. And thus he was, overall, a happy man.

It was, however, his downfall which was the source of his passing unhappiness. The thought that would flit in and out of his thoughts, and for a single moment, pain him. Thompson, still a handsome young bachelor who considered himself with enough years ahead of him before the desire to settle down would grow in him, focused his attention on getting his life in order for when that day and that desire would come. His life, of course, was on a stable path, towards the order he sought so determinedly. The only reason it wasn't yet where he wanted it to be, was simply that, while he took care of all that needed taking care of, the single remaining factor he had no control over, was the passage of time. And so time would have to pass, as it was surely to do. And Thompson, being a Gentleman, was patient.

And as he went by through life, taking care of what needed his care, he would rarely have a momentarily pause of discouragement when his musings were interrupted by his one cause for concern.

You see Thompson, for no explainable reason, was worried about his children. Or rather, the children he would one day have. He did not worry of how they would turn out, or whether they would be respectable Gentlefolk like himself. He did not worry for their health, their education, the troubles they would face. In fact, he was confident of all of these. The only thing Thompson feared was that those children he would one day have, would not respect him. They would see through him. To them he worried, he would not be a gentleman, much less a Gentleman. He feared they would see him as a phony, that they would be embarassed of him. That he would be a part of their lives that they would want to hide away, the way one tries to cover a spot on a table cloth they have seen for the first time in the middle of dinner party. Cover it up, tuck it away, distract attention away from it, and follow the eyes of all the guests ensuring none of their eyes fell to where the spot was located.

It was an irrational fear, but a fear no less. And one which manifested itself in Thompson's approach to his work. It was for this reason he invested himself heavily in what he did. It was for this reason he constantly worked harder and harder to get his life in order - with refinements upon refinements - that vase that could never be placed at the center of a table, one which always looked off. The cumbersome vase that you long to replace, but for some reason cannot. And in the same way, Thompson would further refine his life, always longing he could go back and start over, knowing full well he could not. Because that ever progressing time that he awaited patiently, was ever progressing.

He was a hard worker. When he had first started working, shortly after his studies, he was the model employee. Exemplary, he was. And so he rose quickly, and achieved greater and greater heights, all which came remarkably easy to him. Throughout it, he also knew to enjoy his life. He would host many dinner parties, and made a point to attend as many as he could. A polite guest who never showed up empty handed, and never missed a thank you note, declining invitations only when he knew he had to, and then only with the utmost sincerest of apologies. Dinner parties, engagement parties, weddings, and celebratory parties for new borns, and then the birthdays of the children of his friends, all which triggered his fear, the fear he never shared with any of those friends. Friends whom he gradually saw less and less, as they were now all married, with their own families to look after.

And Thompson was patient. And time progressed. And the vase never centered.

His funeral was an elegant one, with an elegant casket, and an elegant burial plot. Under a tree, with autumn leaves that fell over his headstone. Leaves cleaned by none, over the grave of a man eventually remembered by none.

The End

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