how old are you?
I was asked the other day…
not in any intent other than a casual aside to the conversation….
I hesitated simply because at first I had to think, actually, how old am!?.…..
nope, not a wave dementia or suchlike but simply it’s not something I hardly ever think about, how old I am, or young, or in between….
I sometimes find my brain slipping back to my birth year and doing sums to work it out and then still, because my maths is atrocious, getting it wrong and coming up with some kind of plus/ minus one to three years…..
I admit I am conscious of my age through such uninvited moments as catching myself in the mirror (cue the soundtrack from “Psycho”), or those mischievous little cricks singing creaky songs inside every joint partly a result of an ever-growing accumulation of injuries, a distinct lack of anything resembling long flowing locks, a process which actually started prematurely many a long dosey-day time ago, oh yes and of course hair appearing where it shouldn’t just like some cruel rabbit-from-a-hat magic trick…. though I assure you I haven’t yet produced any rabbits from unseemly places that I’m aware of, but if I do then you’ll be the last to know…..
and then there’s an ever-growing cynicism (though I do have a doctorate in Cynicism) at all and sundry things, nagging scepticism, resigned sighs punctuating every day, the fact that my birthday cards are never those that print your age on in oversized scream-thy-last-scream glittery letters, not to mention an ever-shortening Christmas card list usually down to people having this annoying habit of dying…..
mustn’t neglect the growing preference for staying in with a hot oatmilky, cinnamon and honey drink to an all night alco-binge fest….. and the habit of walking into a room and forgetting why I just did…….
oh yes, and the glasses, spectacles, eyewear (new ones recently too, yippee!) which though in itself not a sign of age it is when the optician writes “age-related” on the prescription…. quid pro quo!……
a predisposition to think, and say, “them were the days”….. (though luckily most-times ironic), an involuntary reflex to ‘tut‘ at almost any little infraction made by almost anyone, the affliction of spouting “in my day….”……
….. I did eventually answer by the way, after an age-perogative few seconds pause, with an elusive estimation… see I can’t even now!…. weird….. it seems between age 16 and about 70 the spectre of self-consciousness takes control whereas before 16 you’re always just that one year older than you actually are, and over 70, well, you’re simply forever 69.
(in memory, Leonard Cohen 1934 – 2016)