THERE ARE ALWAYS THINGS that you can do to fool yourself into forgetting how old you are, like drinking Kool Aid or reading a comic book or eating Fruit Loops. But despite these pathetic maneuvers, the reminders always outnumber the ruses. This occurred to me one morning when I realized that a telltale sign of what kind of day I was in for was whether or not I had to hold onto the bureau when I put on my underwear. [On some days, in order to shamelessly avoid this dilemma, I say to hell with underwear.] Then of course there's that sure mark of the aging process: the pills you have to chug down every morning with breakfast.
Another sure indication of how you are getting on in years is when you realize that everyone you meet reminds you of someone else. Henri Bergson once defined DURATION as “the continuous progress of the past which gnaws into the future and which swells as it advances.” That sort of describes our lives and our memories of it, not to mention our waistlines. But then again, for us senior citizens especially, the future isn't what it used to be.
Getting out my copy of Bergson's CREATIVE EVOLUTION, which I've had forever, I discover yet another sign of how old I've become. It is a hardbound book, published by Modern Library, and the cost listed on the inside front flap of the cover reveals its age: $2.45. You can't even buy a gallon of gas for that these days. Within reach is my paperback copy of GREAT SHORT WORKS OF JOSEPH CONRAD. Its cover price: 75 cents.
These reminders that we are vintage humans are inescapable. My advice is to grovel in it, embrace it with sufficient gusto to enjoy it but without breaking any bones. And don't forget that nap after lunch.
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