-a fragment. For MD.
We must not speak of this. ******* and nonsense swirls around old age. It’s truths are inconvenient. *Golden Years. Honored old age. Valuable old age. Deserved Rest. Most never get what they imagined: honor, comfort, love, troops of friends. We must not speak of this. They no longer look to have those things. Drugs and medicine have turned old age into an endurance race, difficult to endure, much of it unrelenting, inert, isolated boredom. Forced longevity has ****** up pensions, health care, housing and happiness. It has ****** up the entire experience of retirement. Life everlasting, mummified. What disturbs our blood is this longing for the tomb. Oh Reason not the need. We must not speak of this. Memory becomes diaphanous, stretches and thins until it is all skin, no snake. Those who delivered important opinions or stinging rebukes fade to faces without names. Or vice versa. The old become greedy and selfish (we must not speak of this), because they have been abandoned by the living world and must look out for themselves. It becomes more difficult to share the joys and pains of others. Our own impending deaths render other’s less substantial. No matter. Even *** becomes selfish. There are needs which succeed *** and affection. We must not speak of this. Many older folks who are perfectly capable abandon it because it involves relationships which are (we must not speak of this) too much trouble. Been there, bought that T-shirt, wore it out. Primates die, the oceans become poisoned potions, the very weather conspires against life. **** it. The future is no longer our concern. We must not speak of this. We are ghosts in a country no one visits or forgotten photographs without identifying marks. We are the muddled memory of our generation, dead but walking. Young people look through us as if we aren’t there. We look at them and think (schadenfreude) they deserve exactly the world they got. Good luck with that. Grin. We must not speak of this. We have entered the realm of No More Second Chances, where all that happens is just more of what has. We are riding the Turnpike of Infirmity which has only one, involuntary exit. Wishing the destination more distant, we drive on through the Valuable, the Honored, the Deserved Rest, The Golden Years, waiting for the bony hand to collect the final toll. The one that, in the end, we all must pay. The day thou gavest Lord is ended. We must never, young or old, ever think of this.