Home > life > Looking back from dotage.

Looking back from dotage.

I find being old quite fascinating. I guess I’m not very typical of older folks ’cause I wasn’t very typical as a young man, or even as a kid. Not that I was exclusive in any way. There are many kids who like to be on their own, wandering through urban ravines, observing plants, animals, and occasionally a hobo under a bridge, heating a can of beans on a small fire. It’s not totally unique, but it is not really typical of most pre-tImageeen boys.

Plenty of young men enjoy a quiet life while participating in the occasional guys’ night out, house party or community centre festivities. They might go on long bicycle or motorcycle rides alone, or fishing. They are atypical, but still, part of an unorganized group. My son used to spend a lot of time sneaking around train yards, occasionally climbing into a box car to find adventure.

Although I’m closer to eighty than I am to seventy, I ride a motorcycle for fun, and just added a side car so my wife will feel secure enough to ride with me. I’m quite immature, and it’s only my body that’s wracked with age and deterioration, led by internal organs while the external man follows eagerly. As a result, I’m observing my own descent into inevitable dotage from a youthful perspective.

It’s fascinating to have this arm’s length point of view as I become accustomed to being invisible to women, even women in their fifties. People often want to do things for me, to save me the effort of doing it myself. That’s very difficult to become accustomed to and accept. I sometimes need a cane, if I’m going to be on my feet for a while, like at a museum or something. Supermarkets are not so bad, because I can put some weight on the shopping cart. Even my cane is an intricately carved piece that I made from a Maple sapling I cut years ago, to make a riding trail through the forest.

Even worse than the physical discomforts of aging organs and worn cartilage are the ancient memories that come rushing back, unannounced and uncomfortable. At least in my case, wonderful memories of serene fishing outings, my brothers, father and I in a favourite cove where we knew the bass were big were not what came to me. I have those memories of course, to recall at will – so far. But undesired memories, of embarrassing moments, failed communications, being caught in a lie, caught with no cash on your person, failures during intimate moments, other discomforts that my mind struggles to ostracize.

One thing of which I feel certain… I will never lose my juvenile attitude. It’s always been the real me. Even during a long career in business, I never took my job seriously. I found a lot of fun in it, even when it was a menial job early in my working life. And at the height of my career, it was still of secondary importance to me. Every meeting and every assignment were, to me, an invitation to a new challenge and adventure. I was lucky in that my professional positions were such that I could indulge my bohemian preferences.

Here I am, still conversant with current technology and enjoying the hell out of it as I self-educate yet again. I’m wondering what adventurous pitfalls lie ahead, now that I am a doting grandpa.

 Aging, ailments, youthful, memories, observations, motorcycle, sidecar, grandparents, grandchildren, hobo, boxcar, son

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Categories: life
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