His older self clashed with my memory of him as a boy; now a gaunt, haunted mask of world exhaustion – as if life finally had caught up with him and still he kept on running, out of breath and fight. He did not recognize me nor any of us – and why should he? The world he had grown into was demanding and wearing to the bone; the greying area around his eyes showing years of toil ahead of his young age, weighing him down, sharpening his face and senses to necessity rather than choice. Had he stopped and looked closer, into the past, remembering the distant faces of his youth, he might have had the tell-tale glimmer of recognition in his eyes, but it never came. Eyes and speech were awake yet lifeless. In his haste, the world and its people came down into blurry, hard matters that were dealt with accordingly; swiftly and effectively. Life had taught him so. And it pained me to see this image of him. The silent, unknown suffering of resigned acceptance.