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This Old Grump

October 16, 2012

This Old Grump

I have some advantages when it comes to this old guy business. You do become invisible, especially to the young. Old people are so irrelevant they rarely even notice you’re there. I fine with this. Attention makes me nervous. Overt attention can freeze me in space like those bugs in amber. My body seizes up and brain numbs. It’s a disturbing business and so, becoming less attractive suits me. I’ve always believed in the gray man defense.
I can still do about as much physically as I ever did, I work out, but I can’t do anything as hard or as long as I used to. Give the old guy a break, but then I was never much of an athlete and this is no great loss. There is the payment you have to make after doing something that was nothing when you were 20 or 30 or 50. The pain debt. This comes just about every morning as I refuse to just sit there and it seems I’ve always got a sore something. Often as not I can’t remember why I’m sore, but this isn’t that bad really. Just ride it out. Having been all my life a bookish, writing, studying type and never once was a champion at much of anything, I think this deterioration is easier for me than for former medal winners.
And the one everybody fusses about, the abating of sexual desire and prowess…when my sexual fires began to bank I was pleased. Maybe I could finally think straight. Not that the fire’s out completely, but its not so op-pressingly omnipresent. Think of a bed of glowing coals with occasional flare-ups. This has helped my concentration, not being bullied as I was by hormones and impulses as natural as breathing.
I’ve had a couple small stokes (when I was in the throes I felt a serenity I’ve found no where else) and spent a couple of months when I couldn’t walk straight, usually fell down anyway and my speech was labored and garbled, but these things passed and I’m still popping along. Considering I’ve lived a chain-smoking, hard-drinking life, I’m doing pretty good, but then I’m just, at 61, really beginning the old guy business and I know it can only get worse, but so far it hasn’t been as bad as everyone says it is.

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