I think I finally understand why so many people in their later years seem grumpy. For years my job required me to be stoic, unemotional, but as my body fails and I race towards my finish line, I have regrets. These regrets have caused me to wear my emotions on my sleeve. I seem to create saline rain at the drop of a hat. My grumpiness is to cover the fact I am mad at myself both for things I’ve done in the past and for things I failed to do.
I’ve packed a lot of living into my years, but there are some things I still would like to do except now my body is failing. I wasted a couple of fuzzy decades hiding my pain in a bottle. I’m sure there were pleasant times during this period but those are not the memories that seem to pop-up. I closed my heart to outsiders. I built walls to protect it. Those walls still exist. The mind is still sharp, at least for a couple of minutes at a time.
Friends from school are fewer now. It seems there is another funeral every month. Other friends and acquaintances from school seem to have successfully joined the witness protection program. My friend’s children are now dying. Technology is rapidly moving ahead while I seem to be losing ground. I was using a computer long before they became household items, but smart phones, tablets, buttons, smart homes, smart cars; they are beyond my scope. The first “mobile” phone I had weighed about eight pounds and was the size of two large dictionaries. I grew up and worked on cars that were actually fun to drive, today the cars seem to require a degree just to start. I dislike front wheel drives because they require a whole new set of rules for controlling; no braking in a turn or you’ll tear the CV joints up, don’t brake hard when low on gas or you damage the fuel injectors, too many new rules. How do you drift a front wheel car and why can’t they slide through a hairpin turn?
My Doctor’s no longer mails me reminders for my appointments. Actually they switched to email and then quit reminding me at all, something about them saying they weren’t sure I would be alive to get the messages. It so encouraging going to a doctor whom I have known since they got out of medical school and hear them say, “What? Are you still alive?” Last time I said, “No, I am coming to you from beyond the grave to tell you what a bang up job you’re doing and that you need to improve your bedside manner.”
My feet swell, my joints hurt (too many hard landings), my head aches frequently (too many blows to the head), my eyes get tired, I have developed allergies, every medication has side effects, things that used to work no longer do, my kidneys work over time for a bladder that has gotten smaller, my hair has gotten thinner, my ears are growing hairs and this list keeps getting longer. The only good thing about irregular sleep is that it prevents people from throwing too much dirt on my face before I wake up to those exuberant cheers of “It’s alive! It’s alive!” These would be good reasons to be grumpy but I keep misplacing my glasses so I don’t notice as much.
Dating has become fun, especially when dates ask you to sign a waiver and check your health insurance card before the intimate stuff, like asking you, “Are you sure you’re up for this?” I haven’t been “up” in years and if I was I couldn’t see to verify that fact since my waist blocks my view of everything. I need a suitcase for a sleep over just for the meds and the medical test gear. Luckily I have one on wheels, or I did have, not sure where I left it. Oh never mind my toe found it on my way to the bathroom.
I really don’t like to find my teeth in the refrigerator or my ice water in the microwave. I’m forever misplacing something. Darn it! Now if I could just remember what my original purpose in writing this was.