Tag Archives: Old

It’s better to react quickly and look stupid than to not react in time

One of my coworkers just got his hip replaced. I am very fond of him. He is a fellow writer, and he always eats my cooking. Brave, brave man. 😉

Today was one of his first days back. From his cube, I heard a THUNK and then him swearing quietly.

My stomach dropped. I left my chair and rushed into his cube.

He was fine! He had been raising his desk to a standing height when the side got hooked on the printer, raised it, and dropped it. That was the big noise.

Two other concerned coworkers peeked in. After the worried questions and dismissive answers, we went back to our desks. One of them remarked, “Wow, you were in there fast! I sit right next to him and you were still in there before me.”

Having had an ill mother, as well as several very accident-prone family members, all the kids in my family learned to jump when something happened.

I am haunted by an experience I had when I was about 19, in college. I was supposed to spend some time visiting an old lady in a home as part of a community service credit.

In the course of our conversation, she had mentioned to me that a resident next door to her had fallen and was calling for help for hours before she heard her and got staff to help.

Later on, I went to visit her again. As we talked, and I kept hearing an odd, high vocalization every minute or so, from the other room. I didn’t think about it too hard, and politely wrote it off. I must have heard it for at least 30 minutes. Eventually the lady I was with heard it, too.

“What is that sound?” she said.

“I don’t know,” I replied. “I keep hearing it.”

Being wheelchair bound, she pushed the call button, waited for an aide, and asked them to check on the noise. In her wisdom and experience, she was proactive about the situation the minute she noticed something unusual.

Of course, it was the resident in the next room. She had fallen again and was calling from the floor, in her frail weak voice, “Help!…Help!”

It’s amazing how much you forget. In writing this, I realized I don’t know if I ever saw the neighboring resident’s face. I don’t remember what we were talking about. The whole thing is like a hazy dream.

Only one thing keeps its sharp clear edges:  the sounds in the background of our long conversation, sounds which I had written off in the back of my mind, sounds which I was too shy and uncertain to act upon, and so ignored: a pathetic, persistent, exhausted cry for help.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Old Fart

 

I age.
The restroom is up a flight of stairs.
Relieved to see it unoccupied,
I trundle my weight up.
Gasses leak before
I ever reach the door.

I am reminded of old man Charlie.
He too would emit
On the ten yard trip across the room,
The bathroom far too distant
For aged cheeks to fight back
The wayward brew,
Which only a diet rich
In vegetable margarine and sauerkraut
Might engender.
And how will my diet appear
To the next generation
What poor choices of today
Will be paid for
In tomorrow’s intestinal distress?

I make it to the stall without trouble
No emergencies here.
I am still young enough.
I even have time to peer out the window
At the bright sidewalk below.

Just in time to see
Two girls with long legs
Long legs
Legs like herons
Did girls always have legs like that?
Graceful, lean, sun kissed fresh
They talk to one another as they pass
Of girlish things;
unaware of the vulture eye
Two stories above them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

How cold is it?

 

It’s so cold outside.

“How cold is it?”

It’s so cold, I couldn’t go for a run, or even a walk, without turning right around and going back inside.

It’s so cold it was not a one-pants, not a two-pants, but a three-pants day.

It’s so cold that my house window was iced shut.

It’s so cold that Cowdog Creatives’ car refused to open its door and afford me shelter. 

It’s so cold that I could lean my weight against the bitter wind and lose my eyesight at the very same time.

It’s so cold that if I opened my mouth to talk, the wind on my teeth felt like biting ice cream.

It’s so cold that work sent an email blast giving us tips on how to dress warm. Apparently layering is key?? Do I wear my waterproof jacket on the inside or the outside layer? Are gloves a good idea? Still confused on how to dress warm, need more help.

 

And it’s just. Getting. Colder.

 

When I was a kid, I loved the cold. I was just brimming with vitality, and layered with brown fat, a little living toaster. I always warmed my friends’ hands for them. My resistance to cold was a point of pride. But I’m just getting older and wimpier with each passing day. I prefer bed to everything. Bed is warmest. If I must leave the house, you’d better believe I’ll be wearing my hat and scarf and gloves and several outfits.

I blame the cats. They sleep on my feet every night and keep me warm, thus raising my heat threshold. In the words of every old man I’ve read about but never met, I’m gettin’ soft. Need to start sleeping on the floor, it’s good for the back.

Oh God I just aged again didn’t I?? It happens when you stop paying attention!

I tell Cowdog Creatives that we must never let errant gas escape us without the other calling us out on it. I don’t want belches and farts to stop being funny. I don’t mind the wrinkles and I really don’t mind the cold but please, don’t let the farts stop being funny.