Today as I sat at my desk at The Free Press, I was reminded of how unpleasant it must be to get old.
There was this scraggly old battleaxe who came walking up to our reception area … a normal occurrence, and one I typically ignore.
(I admit – when this happens during a break in my work, I tend to listen in on the conversation. You can hear some pretty juicy stuff from time to time.)
I did not listen to the first part of this old bag’s conversation with Paulette, one of our receptionists, but I heard Paulette say – loudly, since the old bag obviously hadn’t been able to hear since the Great Depression – “we haven’t had a problem with that route today” in a semi-snotty tone.
Okay, so by this point, I’m listening into the conversation. Paulette only busts out the semi-snotty tone for special occasions.
“I know I didn’t get it today because it usually comes at 6:20 a.m. Wednesdays. It comes at 5:45 on Mondays, 6:10 a.m. Tuesdays, and …”
And that’s all you need to know about this conversation.
It made me realize how pathetic this old biddy’s life must be by this point. You gotta figure: she’s somewhere around 90, her husband’s been gone for probably a decade, and her kids have learned what a crackpot she is by now and moved away.
Poor thing – all she’s got left is the regularity of her Free Press being whipped at her front door. When it does not happen, it disrupts her routine – and gives her grounds to raise ruckus down at the paper.
I’ve decided I am just going to take care of this problem once Kalista’s well on her feet. You know, married, children of her own, a career – that’s really all the further I want my life to go. The rest is just a ramp up to a pedestal of awfulness. I’m gonna climb in that Lumina (yes, I will still have my Lumina) and take the ol’ girl out for one last ride for old times’ sake. We’ll see how fast she can go with 750,000 miles on ’er.
Then the medical guys can take my lifeless body, cut my head open to see how crazy I must have become, only to discover I was not crazy at all but actually made quite a bit of sense.
They’ll keep their discovery a secret so not to give the rest of humanity any ideas.
Anyway, that in mind, take a gander at these song lyrics. I think they are true.
“I’m gonna live forever
I’m gonna cross that river
I’m gonna catch tomorrow now
You’re gonna wanna hold me
Just like I’ve always told you
You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone
Nobody here will ever find me
But I will always be around
Just like the songs I leave behind me
I’m gonna live forever now
You fathers and you mothers
Be good to one another
Please try to raise your children right
Don’t let the darkness take ’em
Don’t make ’em feel forsaken
Just lead ’em safely to the light
When this old world is blown us under
And all the stars fall from the sky
Remember someone really loves you
We’ll live forever you and I
I’m gonna live forever
I’m gonna cross that river
I’m gonna catch tomorrow now”
– Billy Joe Shaver, “Live Forever”