And if you ask again whether there is any justice in the world, you’ll have to be satisfied with the reply: Not for the time being; at any rate, not up to this Friday. —Alfred Doblin
As you look at the picture, you might be impressed with the model’s flexibility, and appropriately so. Lord knows I’m no longer in any condition to be contorting myself into such positions. Sure, I have friends who are yoga instructors and they all assure me that there are things I could do to increase my physical mobility without aggravating the pain issues. What no one has been able to do yet, however, is find a way to increase my mental flexibility that seems to be increasingly rigid as I get older. I’m sadly reaching that point in life when rather than being excited about the prospects for fun-filled Friday night activities, I’m wondering how early I might be able to get to bed.
I once met a lovely little lady in Paradise, California, back in 1981, who was 101 years old. She was the first person of such age I’d ever met and her spryness caught me off guard. “The secret,” she said, “is to never let anyone convince you that you’re old.” She was amazingly flexible, a former dancer, who put her stockings on while standing up to help maintain both her balance and her flexibility. She read constantly to maintain her mental acuity and every Friday walked the mile and a half each way to the senior center for lunch just to prove to “those old people” that it was still possible. She was quite inspirational.
Not so much anymore. When my alarm went off this morning, the first thing I had to do was pop a dozen different joints that had gone stiff during the night. Walking across the floor to my desk was arduous, slow, with carefully measured steps. Getting up and down from my chair is challenging enough that I’ll sit here arguing with myself as to whether I really need that second cup of coffee before I lose consciousness and fall asleep on the keyboard. Again. Changes to my schedule? Don’t you dare! Once I have an appointment set it might as well be carved in stone. Death is the only excuse I’ll accept for changes and even then I might gripe about how inconsiderate it is for someone to die on a Friday and ruin the whole weekend. Cross opinions with me and you’re just being stupid.
Oh look, I’ve actually made it past my minimum 600-word count. I just got up and put on water for the second pot of coffee (French press). Perhaps I’m more flexible than I thought. I even have plans to go see a friend’s photography exhibition tonight, children in tow and everything. Just don’t talk to me about last night’s presidential debate; that was an exercise in who can pander in the most disgusting manner. I’m still not flexible enough to handle stupid. Don’t expect that to change.