To feel imperfection is to be alive. I am faulted. Each day I see a new wrinkle. I trace the receding nature of my hair. I experience the click clack of my knees. I am no longer a child. I see the elderly and do not laugh, I wonder…Who were they then? At what age did sickness and health meet?
I watched (which felt like forever) an elderly man and woman walk
hand-in-hand down the sidewalk. Their pace was painstakingly slow yet unbearable beautiful. Imagine just imagine, once upon a time they ran, ran down sidewalks and skipped across streets – a speed as a child I envied to reach. Long legs. Reassured direction. Knowledge of symbols on poles. No parents.
I envied the older. Now I envy the old. Every tinge I feel, I think to myself this is it. Every night from work before I place my head, I stretch my back. The labor of the day has stiffened its length. In between shifts I stop at the mirror and stare, one day it will not be toothpaste but Poligrip.
This may sound like Hell. I call it beautiful madness. Some wish for cars and mansions, I yearn to grow old. I hope to wake and sit at the edge of the bed to catch my breath. I got up too fast. My heart is racing. I’m sweating like hell! I wish to walk up flights of stairs and stop on the third step as I hold up the line. I’ll smirk at their impatience. I wish to sit in parks all day, barely moving, as the kids ask if I’m alive. I am, just admiring the landscape. I want to go to Church with sunglasses as I nod in and out of sleep – an hour is just too damn long!
I wish for life in my staggered breath. I wish for patience in my “hard a hearing” ears. I wish for wisdom in my speech. I wish for grandchildren that take delight in me telling the same story over and over.
I think today I’ll walk a little slower. Maybe I’ll name my wrinkles. And instead of calling myself faulted and aged, I’ll say congratulations you made it another day.