Monday, August 15, 2011

Being the Oldest in the Room

By Elliott Joseph

Copyright 2011 Elliott Joseph
September 2011

I'd like to get a little personal today.

Age is a tired idea, but I must say I suddenly realized I am often the oldest one in the room. By that I mean at the movies or theater or restaurant or certainly at a social gathering.

At 87 I am not the oldest in the world and surely there are a lot of gray heads except in the restaurants, where the clientele is so young. When I was young I couldn't afford these restaurants.

At 87 I sometimes think it won't be long that I'll be 90, if I last. That's a number. Time goes so quickly.

Fortunately, while I have some health issues I am basically OK. I haven't played golf for over two years and tennis is long gone. Getting out of a chair is a chore and exercise is always on the horizon, but though I realize walking is the easiest and the best thing for an old guy, I don't walk enough.

What else do I feel at 87? The news is so disappointing, all those unemployed, people losing their homes, the endless stupid wars, the killings on the street.

What helps is having a neutral corner. I remember a play, I can't recall the name, where this husband kept getting his wife pregnant until she declared a neutral corner. It was a comedy with a message.

What more does an 87 year old person think about? Cassandra. Remember her? Because of her beauty Apollo granted her the gift of prophecy. But when she did not return Apollo's love he cursed her that no one would ever believe her predictions. She told the truth, but because of the curse she would never be believed. It's a legend, but so true. The bright aware woman who recognized a financial crisis would occur. She was not believed and her name wasn't even Cassandra. Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction, but the inspectors were not believed. Cassandra at work again. You can't win in Afghanistan. Nope, can't be believed what common sense can see. Cassandra. Apollo's curse.

Oh well, what's an 87 year old supposed to do in the face of such tragedy? As I've said before, can you live with it? Just don't call me Cassandra. Anyway, I'm not that beautiful.

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