Sixty Five….

October 3, 2009

…….I remember looking up from the morning crossword puzzle and, with my pencil, parting the curtains covering the window across the table. Dawn. I glanced at the clock on the kitchen wall above the refrigerator and noted that, as of that moment, I had completed 65 years on this galactic spitball.

Celebrating my birthday with a dish of prunes and a Purple Pill wasn’t my idea of a joyous event, but it would suffice. I sat back and contemplated the first time some young titan of testosterone had mustered the audacity to look me in the eye and file me under c:fart/old.doc not too many years earlier.

I had smiled and reminded him that the primary difference between him and me was that his skin fit better. Other than that we were pretty much cut from the same cloth, I had noted.

I wondered though, on that morning of my 65th birthday. Surely I was not unique, my life having demonstrated quite clearly, at least to that point, that a speck of pine pollen wafting to the surface of Moosehead Lake in north-central Maine had disturbed the surface of that great body significantly more than my existence had influenced one way or the other humanity’s headlong rush toward oblivion, omnipotence, or the nearest bar. Nevertheless, my own assessment of my demeanor and behavior gave rise to the question of how a 65 year old man is supposed to conduct himself. I was new at this “Senior Citizen” shtick.

Was it OK at the venerable age of 65 to lean back and belch as long and as loud as one could?

Did other 65 year old men pilot four wheel drive trucks through the woods, driving with one hand and conducting Mozart as it booms out of the radio with the other?

Was it OK for a 65 year old man bellow “Eat me” to the strains of Handel’s Messiah when someone in a Massachusetts SUV passed him on the right in the breakdown lane and shook an insulting fist at him?

“These are important questions,” I decided.

I vowed to contemplate them carefully, and if need be, make some minor adjustments in my behavior once I reach 66….


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