Expiration Date

we all have expiration dates

he knew that because that’s what everyone always told him

they said that when his dad died at 51

they said that when his mom got sick

they said that when frank at the office fell off his chair during the quarterly meeting and died right there

they said that when he was seven and his cat got hit by a truck as he sat on the sidewalk chalk in hand

they said that when his annual stress test came back a bit too high…. again

they also said no one actually knows their expiration date

but they were wrong

he did

he saw it one day after he removed his work boots and set them at their place beside the door

it was a tag tied around his toe and he wondered how he never noticed it before

in fact he couldn’t even feel it there, it was just that the corner was peeking out and he got curious

he pulled it up to read it

there was his name and birthdate

and below that the curious inscription:

expires age 51 and then an even curiouser set of symbols

he had set his foot down shocked and numb

he was fifty

his dad died when he was 51 too

what the fuck?!

that was eighteen months ago

today was his fifty-second birthday

he wasn’t sure what to think

he wasn’t sure what to believe

he just wasn’t sure what to think anymore

he checked his tag again

this time he caught something he hadn’t noticed before

suddenly his whole world shifted


tara caribou | ©️2019

19 thoughts on “Expiration Date

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