Yes, surely he could return to those halcyon days of lighted-footed mindfulness. Surely, he could take to meditation once more and cultivate calm, and contentment, and clarity. Of course, he could. Weren't the iron bars of this prison self-made after all?
But, I'm DYING! came the voice, clutching at his pulmonary artery. For a moment, his heart stopped in his chest, and his flesh crawled. His skin broke out in a balmy sweat, and right there, on the side of the street, he fell to his knees in mortal fear. Jesus, I don't want to die. For the love of God, save me. Save me, save me, save me!
He waited then an instant, but, no salvation came. Like rust, the knowledge of his own mortality continued to eat its way through his sanity, leaving his mind ever-fraying and flaking and falling apart. And so, he wept. He wept at the witnessing of the slow erosion of his soul, at the loss of his pride. Not knowing what else to do, he cried. Right there on the side of the street, as the first drops of an evening rain began to pat the concrete pavement beneath his knees, he cried, and his world, finally, collapsed.