I’m packing death.
Have just realized that I don’t know if anyone other than an Aussie understands that phrase … Well, it means that I am shit-scared, basically.
Nothing to fear about moving (next Wednesday) into an absolutely delightful unit – roomy, bright, full of gardening promise, ditto cooking – how could there be ?
No nerves regarding future living in a place where I can walk for 3 or 4 minutes to a cafe (on my premises) that sells exactly the kind of edibles that appeal – cheese & salad rolls, arancini and all that kind of stuff.
No anxiety re being able to go to a gym whenever I want, or join a choir, or do a daily walk (dream on !) of exactly one kilometre …
What causes the sweat on the brow and the sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach is actually simple: this is my last move. I must acknowledge that I really do fall into the “elderly” category, regardless of how I see myself as a person. Forget the jeans and the runners and the clipper job on the hair. I’ve reached the stage where I have to step over a line – and it’s a vital one.
It’s the line between being sufficiently carefree as to be able to look around and think how many people there are who are so much older than I; and reality. The line between offering my seat on a bus to an old person; and not doing that. The line between telling myself I will, one day, find somewhere to live that I can be happy with; and knowing that if I’m not happy where I’m about to move to, then it’s tough shit.
This is it.
I think most people don’t have to face a step like this: by the time they’re in their mid-70s they’re well settled into whatever is their lifestyle. Of course there are many who have to go into care places – but when they’re still healthy and … erhmm … ambulatory ?
It’s the very reason I look on this offer as a gift from the gods that causes fear.
Been thinking about this business of the weight of years. One does, that’s all I can say. It doesn’t mean anything sinister or depressing: it just means that my nails need cutting and I’m sitting here putting it off, so have time on my hands (so to speak).
The loss of stuff is the main irritant: collagen and the like, you know ? The backs of my hands ! – how can there be so many little sharp wrinkles ?! How come I keep finding little places on my skin (not my hands) where odd dry bits are; and if I scratch at ’em I make a sore ?! Why did I need to have cataracts removed and replaced with artificial lenses that mean I can’t see anything close up any more ? – I spent my entire life being able to look at things held six inches from my eyes; but since last September I can’t see anything much closer than bloody infinity ! I wish I’d done what P did, and had close vision lenses put in: I’ve had to get multi-focals again, with the top part nothing at all, the middle (a very small middle) laptop distance and the bottom for C&K.
Why is it that I stiffen up when sitting here and walk like a duck when I first arise from the seated position ? Why do I need a goddam nanna nap most afternoons ? – and after one, look like someone had pressed my face with a large tamper ? (Actually, it could be an ordinary-sized tamper that they’ve applied a lot of times.)
I really do know the answers to these not-too-inscrutable questions; but every so often they gather about me again and fly in my face. Which reminds me: is my chin just like Mitch McConnell’s ?, or am I being merely morose ?
And the stuff people publish about how to beat this ! – hard to credit that there are many who take it all very seriously and do their utmost to avoid the A word.
Still. Bottom line: I don’t mind it. It’s just that sometimes I catch a glimpse of myself in some reflective surface and am actually startled: WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN ?!
(I shall search out a pic. of me and Lui when I’ve just woke up from a you-know … n-n … because I’m not too ashamed to reveal the ghastliness. Just don’t know right now where I filed it.)
Found it. It’s worse than I thought; kinda wish I hadn’t shown bravado …
But you must admit that whilst I look like I’ve been dragged backwards through a bush, Lui looks his usual sublime self. :)
Which isn’t fair: at 12½ cat years he’s almost exactly my age ! PFUH ! It’s like I’ve always said: men only get better-looking as they age, whilst women …