About three months ago, as regular as the C train, I got a
fedex envelope inviting me over America’s Memorial Day weekend to the Seraperos de Saltillo's annual Juego de Viejos, or Old-Timers' game.
Through the indulgent good graces of my long-suffering wife, I’ve made the last three or four games, and perhaps surprisingly embarrassed myself in only one or two of those games.
Mostly the nub of my embarrassment lay in my lack of mobility at what we once called the hot corner, but given my present physical infirmities might more accurately be dubbed the 'frozen junction.'
Add to that my still torn and unrepaired rotator cuff which makes the long zing to first all but impossible and you have, with deference to Mr. A E Housman the picture of a former athlete who did not slip betimes away, but who hung on way too long.
That hanging on too long has sent me into a slough of despond at work as well. I sit in meetings and hear people speak of the splendors of 'instastories' and other forms of surveillance marketing and I wonder if it’s time to hang up my spikes and head upward I hope to that great ballpark in the sky.
I was born old of course and have always been that old dog who could learn new tricks. My cerebral capacity I say without a whiff of conceit, is greater than its ever been, but given the rampant dumbing down of all around us, I fear it leaves me increasingly estranged from those around me who look askance if you mention something as quaint and hoary as having read a book.
All this to say that while there are whole weeks at a time where I feel capacious and nearly invincible at work, those days when I feel significantly less so are becoming more foreboding and frequent.
And so I’ll end this here, a rumination on age and pain and will and desire. Also I have a request, if you see an old person today, and he’s got dark grey circles under his eyes, and he’s maybe had too much to do for too long, be nice to him.
It could be me.