Aye, it's getting dark now, cold and dark as a Highland winter twilight. No matter that the lights are on, and the heating up full, and the Scotch warming a trail down my throat. Well, it comes to us all in the end...
We've made a difference, each and every one of us. Oh, not enough, don't think that for a minute. But those mean streets are a little cleaner, and the scent of roses a little sweeter on the air.
When I close my eyes - and it's harder now to keep them open, though I'll not admit to it - I can see them all, all my lads, aye, and the lasses too, back down the years since I founded the squad. The ones who gave their lives so others might sleep safe at night - those I'll mourn, for the children I never had. Brave souls, bonny souls all... And the ones who'll carry on the good fight, after I'm long gone. And those special two, my good lads...
Chalk and cheese, I've called them - the doer and the thinker, the ne'er-do-well made good, and the idealistic worrier.
They all thought I was mad, pairing two such opposites. Ah, but I knew what I was doing... And proved it, through the years. There never was such a team, not before nor since. "Let me not to the marriage of true minds Admit impediments..."
But I'll not haver into reminiscences - always plain-spoken, me, no need to change the habit of a lifetime. Enough for me, now, to know they went as they'd have wanted - together, watching each other's backs. No fault of theirs there was one too many, at the end.
It's colder now, but the darkness is fading into light. No man should outlive his children. I'll be glad to go.
© 2000 WordWrights.
"Auld lang syne" is a Scottish term meaning 'times long since gone' or 'the good old days'. The quote is from Shakespeare, Sonnet 116, lines 1-2. And 'haver' is a Scottish word meaning 'hesitate', 'witter', 'lose track of what one was saying' - or words to that effect.