My Back Pages

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“Ah, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now “

– Bob Dylan, ‘My Back Pages’

An elderly gentleman sits on a park bench in the Auckland Domain, quietly reading a book and listening to something through his headphones.

He would pause from thumbing the pages and look up from time to time to gaze around at his fellow parkgoers; walkers and people watching the ducks at the adjacent pond.

Reading is a luxury to me in an oft time-cramped existence, but this fellow seemed to have all the time in the world to focus on his book.

Ironic, considering that he has, in all probability, less time left on this planet than me(that is no certainty however!).

I was slightly envious of his ability to immerse himself in his book and music, or whatever he was filling his ears with.

I wondered what he was reading – fiction or non-fiction; thriller, humour or biography?

To read is to be curious about life.

And I bet he had an interesting life story himself.

What might his back pages read like?