For decades it seemed that time had no purchase on the old man, save for the barely noticeable graying of hair and beard. He worked the bar of the White Horse six days a week, knowing each patron by face and preference, yet universally cold and rude to all.
To the men of the town, he was a fixture like the city gate or the statue of Lord Nelson. He was familiar to them, but engendered no fondness. The old man was tolerated but not liked.
During a rare December ice storm, he had taken a bad fall, breaking his left leg under him. Bound to a hospital bed, the vitality drained from him like water through a sieve. A week was like a year as he lay there, his hair turning white then vanishing altogether, his skin like bruised fruit.
Yet he would not die, the tenacity of life long outlasting any reason for it. Years and years of wasting until the day he finally died, emaciated and almost unrecognizable.
The wake at the White Horse was remarkably well-attended, but within a year the old man was forgotten. There was not even a photograph to remember him by.