Golden years

Golden_years


The other day I was coming down the stairs in my office building, and a woman about my own age, who has worked for the University almost as long as I have, was coming down behind me. We didn’t converse; we just occupied ourselves with our thoughts.

 

 

We were both walking very methodically. When you’re our age, you don’t dash down the stairs. You take your time.

 

 

Finally, about halfway down, I said (without turning my head): “I never dreamed this would be how I’d spend my golden years.”

 

 

She laughed aloud. “It could be worse,” she said.

“Exactly what I was thinking,” I said.

 

 

Who knows, in his/her twenties, what he/she will be doing in thirty years? I was telling a story not long ago, and I began with: “When I came to Providence thirty-five years ago . . .”

 

 

OMG!

 

 

Most of the people in my office weren’t born yet!

 

(This, if you can’t tell, is a blog about getting old. I write these from time to time. They are a pressure release, like the little steam-vent on a pressure cooker.  They keep my head from exploding.  So bear with me.)

 

 

I had a haircut recently. You remember my barber: he’s a sweetheart. We talked the whole time, mostly about real estate in downtown Providence. When I got out of the chair, I looked down and saw huge wads of gray hair on the floor. “Oh my god,” I said wanly. “Look how gray I am.”

 

 

“Don’t complain,” my barber said, who must hear this kind of comment all the time, and who is mostly bald. “At least you have hair.”

 

 

But – do you know what I mean? I’m inside this rapidly-aging body, here, now. I’m a husk, for heaven’s sake! I feel dry and evanescent, as if I’m becoming transparent.

 

 

And here’s the bitterest joke of all: my soul, or whatever it is inside me that’s looking out through these dull nearsighted rheumy eyes, is still young.

 

 

Ah.

 

 

Try explaining that to someone who’s younger than you.

 


 

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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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