Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Seeing old people get by with their lives is something to see. I see them all wrinkled up, having to take those pills, having to watch their weight and eating habits, chatting up with fellow elders, and some with their white false teeth. It's undeniable. You can't just hide age. You feel it, you see it, you hear it in the voice of old men and their grunting coughs and crackling phlegm.

It makes me wonder about what kick do these people get in this late stage of their lives. I always thought that youth must be one of the finest gifts in the world: that's because you still have time ticking for you, lots of it. 

"What would you want to do when you get old?" is one thing that grown ups often ask little children. No, really, what would you want to do when you get old? 

"I don't want to get old."

But then lately, it hit me: growing old is not a choice that many take head-on. Somehow, growing old is a privilege. Older men, usually said, wiser men accumulate those wrinkles along with the hard lessons in life. With all the knocks to the head, the skinned knees and elbows, cracked soles and healed bones, the old men would probably know what they're talking about. 

You age as you are gifted with the many things. It was a scary thought at first, all that "getting old" shit going around everyday. Though there are times that I think that the reason most of them old folks reached that ripe age is because they've done something good to deserve that high score in terms of years.

Maybe it would be fun to face the coming years with a full sleeve of ink with more than a dozen stories for keeps. You'd be called an old fart but you know for yourself that you're a wise old fart. The young 'uns will be drop jawed with old-school wisdom.

Maybe it'll hurt, with all them meds and pills and therapies and problems that come with age. That hip ache may have been from an epic bike ride across the country. That missing tooth was secretly from a case of falling teeth rather than a knee to the face in some back alley brawl in the past.

Most people don't want to get old. We'll age but at least we get some stories to tell. But let's hurry, the clock won't wait, not even for future old coots.

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