Losing my senses


Partner asked me recently: “Do you find that you prefer strong flavors more than you used to?”



“Absolutely,” I said. “I kind of figured that it was because I’m losing my sense of taste, the way I’m losing my eyesight and hearing.”



He nodded and looked sad.



I looked it up online, and sure enough, the sense of taste fades with age. Women begin losing taste acuity in the forties, men in their fifties. Also, the taste buds begin to shrink.



The first two flavors that fade away are sweet and salty. (Yes, that makes sense. Candy and pastry are less appealing to me now. And Partner salts his food like a fiend.) The ability to taste sour and bitter is more long-lasting. No information about umami.



It’s a shame to have to leave the world of the senses behind.



Enjoy the subtlety of shadows and soft music and crème de Chantilly while you can, kids.



In one of my favorite novels, Graham Greene’s “Travels With My Aunt,” someone offers elderly aunt Augusta some chocolate. She looks at it sadly. “I used to love chocolate,” she says. “I am getting old.”



Now I understand what she means.

About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to futureworld@cox.net.

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