In search of story


Connections: April 29.17

I have been in an alternate universe

a place I have been before

where perpetual motion is rampant

and parents a mere twoscore.

There’s soccer and softball and homework

lives lived digitally

two kids, two cats, two dogs,

and Grandma (that would be me).

Mom in a sling and Dad far away

a convergence of planning and chance

with non-stop pre-teen rhythm

and flying by the seat of our pants.

I lived in a place such as this

in a dim and distant past

when I had an abundance of pep

and my hormones hadn’t lapsed

but now my creaky bones

move far less supplely

and I don’t know when I’ll recover

from the onslaught of energy.




I had no illusions. I knew when I bought this house that I was moving into a youthful neighborhood. I knew the lives of everyone around me would be different from mine. I knew, I knew.

But things have gone too far. Two of my lithe and smooth-skinned neighbors are pregnant. Hormones ought not be so flaunted.

People run everywhere. With stopwatches and strollers. They ride bikes, skate, and I swear I’ve heard pogo sticks. Sweating is socially acceptable. Energy abounds and muscles ripple. Flaunt, flaunt, flaunt.

I recently saw a reference to people “50 and better.” 50 and BETTER? How patronizing. Why not just pat me on my little greying head and send me to my rocker with my afghan and Geritol julep? The word is “older,” thank you.

AARP sends me glossy magazines touting the trim glow of celebrities. Puh-leeze. They have nothing to do with me or I with them. I live a real life. My right knee makes a peculiar soft clicking noise when I go downstairs. On occasion my hips seem out of sync with my legs, where veins rise up like the Rockies. My fingers grow ever more gnarled and painful. I sag everywhere. My skin grows toadstools. And, worse yet, my granddaughter plays with my old-lady elbows and tempts me to forget I dote on her.

I have heard women talk about “getting over” and “moving beyond” body image. To them I say — and loudly — IMPOSSIBLE! Not that I ever had much body to have an image about, but still I miss the days when I could get up from the floor.

Golden years, my Aunt Fanny, as my ancestors would say.

There. I’m done for now.