Monday, February 18, 2019

You an old man!

I just went out to push the apartment building’s Volkswagen sized dumpster onto the street for tomorrow's pickup. Five little, yes they were shorter than I, children were playing in the yard, maybe ages 2-5 years old. They ran up to me. The eldest in the group, pointing at my face, said, “You an old man. How old are you?”

Gee, I guess I'm thankful my eyesight is so blurry. I hadn't noticed my image in the mirror changing, other than when I needed a haircut or a shave. I think that was the first time anyone has told me I am old. I should be grateful. From now on I know my place in an expanding universe and waistline.

I was taken by surprise at this realization as much as when someone called me “sir” for the first time. I had sat at the counter of a tiny eatery on South Jefferson Street in a small town in Pennsylvania and ordered a hamburger with mustard and relish only. When my order was brought over, the waitress, several years older than I, without emotion said, “Here you are sir.” It struck me that I had never heard those words direct at me. After all, I had a week before graduated from high school and I was used to being called many other things.

When I had told this story of my new cosmic awareness to my wise sister, she encouraged me to, “Embrace it.” I think I will go outside and tell the kids to, “Get off the lawn!” but now I am afraid to go outside.

P.S.  I stepped outside to take a late afternoon walk and now my name is, "Hi old man I saw before."

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