Ravaged By Age

A beautiful young woman, perhaps 22-25 years old, hustled over to me, put my arm on her own, and helped me down a flight of about seven steps. I was startled but grateful. I thanked her and she said, “I’ll be glad to help you again, SIR, if you need it.”

My beloved friend, Mike Jones, retired swim coach at EMU, went into the hospital for a simple procedure he has had done routinely. He died. He was my age. The whole community mourns.

Two friends of mine recently had knee replacements. Until then, they were superb older athletes. Another was felled by hip replacement. The smartest, most ebullient man I know, was struck by severe stroke. He has not spoken in two years.

A friend called to tell me of a certain movie I should watch on Sundance Channel. By the time I went to the TV, I forgot the name of the movie. I called back and she told me. I went to the TV but forget the name of the movie. Too embarrassed to call, I sent her an e-mail message. She obliged. I raced to the TV. Too late. I forgot again.

Whenever my light bulbs blow out, I wait for Tom P to come to my house to replace them. While I was in California during the month of February, Michael G hovered over me, worrying over my every move. He accompanied me to a grocery; I thought to buy a half gallon of milk but he advised me it would be much easier for me to carry a quart. I obeyed.

I am thinking of racing Dr. Ted Drange to the 123 year old mark. I think we are about the same age. He will make it but I don’t know about me. At that age, will I care? Will I even know I am racing him?
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John McCormack - Silver Threads Among The Gold.

Lotte Lenya - September Song

The Beatles – Will you still love me when I’m 64?

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History has produced two great men – me and Ozymandias. Now, both are colossal wrecks.

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away”.

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8 Comments

  1. I find that I can now strike up conversations with younger women and they don’t mind. I actually get a hug now and then. “For every time there is a season….”

  2. Night and Day

    VERSE

    Like the tweet tweet tweet of the vultures
    As they circle ’round your head,
    Like the girls who mock your once-stately ****
    And pronounce it leg’lly dead,
    Like the drip drip drip from your plumbing
    As incontinence takes hold,
    So a voice within you keeps repeating
    Old – Old – Old.

    REFRAIN

    Night and day, you’re getting old,
    Too darn hot beneath the sun; at night it’s too cold.
    Squinting near to you or far
    During the night your vision’s under par,
    You only have: sight by day.
    Day and night, why should it be
    That this longing you are feeling is only to pee?
    Sitting in the sterile gloom
    Of the Geriatrics waiting room,
    It turns your hair white from gray.
    Night and day within the butt of you
    There’s an, oh, such an itching aching making a nut of you,
    And its torment won’t be void
    Till they give you something to soothe a hemorrhoid
    Day and night, night and day.

  3. Leonard:

    How depressing. I probably would rather not get a hug from a beautiful woman if that was all I was getting. Similarly, I never understood my friend’s desire to frequent strip clubs. He had next to zero chance of going home with any of the lovely ladies. These acts seem like self inflicted torture.

    Professor:

    I know the truth. You are perfectly capable of changing the light bulbs. You just like to make me feel needed, which I appreciate. Further, if it is any consolation I would prefer to carry a quart of milk over a gallon.

  4. Thomas:

    You lecherous bastard. I have a wife whom I love, and I never frequent strip clubs. You seem to be one who treats women as objects and not as friends. If I am wrong, sue me.

  5. Based on my admittedly half-vast experience with women, I think there is not a one of them who doesn’t like to be treated, in a friendly manner, as an object.

    Thomas: When you get past 70, you have to concentrate on what were once automatic functions, like heartbeat, breathing, and looking up without experiencing vertigo. So, to change a ceiling light bulb while standing on a chair or step ladder becomes a dreaded task. I now wait for the rare visits from my son or son-in-law, at which times they change all the ceiling bulbs. I can still change the bulb in a desk lamp without falling and breaking my hip, and so can Sid.

  6. Al, I don’t believe anyone likes to be treated as an object, friendly or not. I think one should treat people as subjects, which is something I try to do, but often unsuccessfully.

  7. But someone who treats people as subjects is making himself out to be a king, or something. Object, subject — Cheez, you can’t win for losing!

  8. Al, I believe that you are on to something, which is why Zen appears to be the only escape. Say after me, “The willow is green.”

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