As the light breaks the night into pieces, he begins his day. Talking himself through the motions, he lays out his best suit.
"Look Mama, I am wearing my suit today."
She would be proud of him this morning. He remembers her smile as he slowly buttons up his starched white shirt. Remembers her gentle hands folding down his collar, making sure it was just so.
"Should I wear my black tie or my brown one today, Mama?"
He settles his mind on the black tie, and carefully ties the knot. Mama is there again, straightening his tie, demanding perfection. He reaches for his pants.
"A sharp crease, just the way you like it, Mama."
A matching waistcoat and suit jacket are next. He can feel her there with him still, slowly closing each button on his jacket. Imaginary hands brush the lint off his shoulder.
"I can see my own reflection in my shined shoes. Are you proud of me, Mama?"
His dressing complete, he prepares to set out on his journey. He will wander the streets of this town as he has every day for as long as anyone can remember.
"I am all ready to go now, Mama. Did I forget anything?"
For the briefest of moments, his mind wanders back to that hospital room. Mama is there. She smiles at him one last time as she gives him his charge, "Take care of the ones you love, my son".
"I love this town, Mama. I will watch over them.".
This story is about Vern, a man that wanders the streets of our town. Nobody knows much about him, but on some days, he dresses in his Sunday finest and walks. This story is part of the Write of Passage challenge. Please check it out.