Thursday, January 31, 2013

Premature Senior Moment

Recently, while on a daily errand run on the heavily trafficked Broadway, I spied a young fellow with a clipboard in hand. I generally try to avoid clipboard-wielding men and women for a variety of reasons. Foremost, I’m not typically interested in their particular causes or their winning business opportunities. And—even in the rare instances when I am on their wavelengths—I can’t help but be leery and on guard for some sort a scam. These are the times we live in…and I live in the Bronx.

Try as I did, though, I just couldn’t bypass this chap. He said, “Hello,” and since I didn’t say, “Goodbye,” he began his spiel, which I politely listened to while not breaking stride. Strange, but I thought I heard him say he was pitching a program for “young people” like me. So, I listened further to what was tumbling out of this poor guy's mouth. Under the circumstances, I couldn’t help it. Is he actually pitching a senior daycare plan to me—with door-to-door pickup, Medicare, arts and crafts, etc.—I wondered? And indeed he was. The flier he handed me told me as much and listed the countless benefits and the many exciting things I could do at this geriatric daycare center. Why there were gentle exercises and mental stimulation games to be enjoyed. Really, what more could a person ask for? Actually, the “Relaxation Room” didn't sound half bad.

Despite being cane and able, perhaps my walking along with such an aid added fifteen or twenty years to my chronological age, I don’t know. But from this young man’s perspective, I was a geezer who just might enjoy playing a game of checkers with a fellow geezer. I take small solace here—very small in fact—from a friend from high school, who when asked to hazard a guess of the age of our high school chemistry teacher, answered, “Sixty.” Well, thirty plus years later and she’s still teaching the same subject at the same place—and she’s not ninety-three. She was probably in her late twenties—maybe early thirties—when we had her as a teacher. Nevertheless, AARP solicitations aren’t very far off, I know. And to paraphrase a favorite author of mine, I’m more cognizant than ever before that every day amounts to “more and more subtracted from less and less.”

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