His vacant eyes saw without seeing. He greeted well-meaning visitors with a perfunctory smile, a remaining trait that had been embedded in his youth for a veil had settled over his mind making it impossible to withdraw memories, such as when his arms held his firstborn, or the time he buried his only boy. Perhaps receding memories protect our failing bodies during the slow retreat to embryonic stage. Yet, when he saw his childhood friend, his eyes registered recognition. A broad smile cracked his chapped lips. “Andres,” he whispered. The moment faded quickly, and he retreated to the impenetrable miasma.