My toes hurt. My arches are broken down. My heels both hurt. My ankles ache. My right shin has dents in it. My left calf is killing me. My right knee locks up and hurts when I go down stairs. My right thigh aches by morning, and my left ass cheek has a permanent dent in it from my wallet. Both of my hips bother me and my back is hopeless. My spine isn’t straight and my left shoulder has one thing wrong with it, unlike my right shoulder that has three. My right elbow locks once in a while and my forearms bother me at night. My wrists are ok, except when they aren’t, and all of my fingers have been broken at least twice. My thumb locks up on my left hand, and my left pinkie hasn’t been straight since 1981. My neck creaks when I turn my head. My left ear always feels clogged, and my right ear always is. My nose has been broken about a dozen times, and my hair has seen better days. Don’t get me started on my eyes, and the scrambled mess that’s inside my head is a story in and of itself.
How am I doing?
How am I really doing? Oh, just fine.
Fine? Really? Fine?
Fine is a four letter word that is nothing more than a cover up. It’s a flagrant foul. It’s a penalty flag deep in the secondary. It’s not what I asked you, and some days it’s all I have to offer.
Oh how a lot of us wish we could have that kiddish outlook that we once possessed. Yes, it’s but a fleeting moment behind us, or so it seems, and yes, it has supplied us with wonderment and splendor amidst everything else that makes up who we are, who we have become and who we used to be.
I long for those days of old when we felt an urge and jumped all over it. Riding a bike, grabbing a basketball, running out through the field, heading back up through the field with a fishing pole in one hand, and a string of fish in the other.
What the hell happened to me? What the hell happened to you? What on earth happened to us?
I saw an old school friend at a local store several years ago. I initially walked right by him, did a double take, and walked back with a smile on my face and a hand reached out for a shake. We talked for a couple minutes ago, and as we reminisced, I felt a little uncomfortable. I kept wanting to ask him why he looked so old. I felt the question on the tip of my tongue, but my better judgment kept my query in check.
What did happen to him? Why did he look so old. The current year put him around 48 years old, but man did he ever look like he was sixty-five to me. I suppose one of the things that kept me from asking him the question was fear of what I looked like myself. With the oncoming gray hair these past twenty years, had I aged as much as he had? I know for sure that some days it felt like it.
By the way, that list of aches and pains at the beginning of this post isn’t real, or is it?
Oh how I wish I had the childish exuberance. I wish I had the hop in a younger step. I wish I had a tank full of energy, and a head full of the wonder of a boy. I suppose some days I still do think like a kid, after all, rarely a day goes by when I don’t pull up a memory or two from my childhood.
I remember a couple weeks ago. My son, grandson, wife and I headed down to the coast to celebrate a birthday. We stopped at Mount View high school in Knox, where there is a large playground. I slowly swung my cane side to side and strolled over to the swings and had a seat while I listened to my son and his son have a go at the yard full of equipment. As I sat and listened, it seemed only a short time ago that I was running after my son while he took in all the magic of a playground. I also remembered how short a time it felt that a young boy ran across a playground in Little Falls. Hands in the air, feet flying over the ground and a heart beating as fast as a heart can beat.
Can you tell what I’m thinking right now? I’ll give you a hint.
It includes some busted toes, a crooked nose and a big smile.
Thanks for stopping by, and have yourself a grand old night.