I’ve finally gotten old enough to get away with being cranky. See, I’ve always been cranky, but now that I’m in my fifties, I realize I’m gonna start getting cut slack for being a cranky old guy. I can now be the guy in line muttering angry shit about–anything. I can pull it off now, because I look the part. You have to age into crankiness–it’s like smoking a pipe–a twenty-five year old with a pipe just looks pretentious and–well, wrong.
And why do I feel so oddly empowered? Why do I suddenly look the part? It’s not the grey in my goatee, or the lines on my face. It’s because now I walk with a freakin’ cane! Due to some sort of hip thing (not Tower of Power ‘hip’–grandpa ‘hip’), I’ve got a limp. Basically, I move a little like a Weeble. Now, I’m not thrilled that my marathon-running days are over (before they could even start–tragic), but I’m starting to at least embrace the plus side.
The other day I hobbled onto a train and proceeded to tell the teenager (who was, I might add, terribly unkempt) to get his feet off the seat in front of him. And he did! So testing my newfound license to scold, I strongly suggested that the kids in the back should quiet down, and they did!
But for the best example of the power of the cane–I was crossing the street last week, and noticed a couple of young guys in one of their…hot-rod jalopies. They didn’t see me, and clearly had no intention of stopping before the crosswalk. So I let them pull all the way into the crosswalk, walked to the driver’s side window, planted my cane and yelled ‘this is a crosswalk, punk!” They looked very frightened. They backed up, waited for me to cross, and then drove away (at the speed limit, I might add).
Now in that moment, they were probably cursing me, but I guarantee that they will remember the insane old dude the next time they come to a rolling stop. And that’s the beauty part, people. I call it freelance social engineering.
This newfound acceptance of my…enfeeblement is very cool, and almost offsets the fact that, in general, my body is breaking down at an alarming rate. I suppose some of this is related to smoking, drinking and not excercising. Anyway, yesterday I got out of the chair at my desk and thought ‘I’ve been sitting too long.’ What? YOU CAN’T SIT TOO LONG! Sitting isn’t an activity! I’ve actually said ‘Oy–my hip’–trust me, when you use Yiddish AND talk aout your hip, you’re officially old.
I wear reading glasses, have digestive problems, walk with a cane,and about three years ago I woke up one morning unable to lift my right arm above my head. I suppose that’s something I should look into. Problem is, I don’t do the doctor thing. It’s not the actual doctor, it’s the time before the appointment. Combine an overactive imagination with the fact that I haven’t exactly treated my body like a temple (maybe a rec room? a VFW hall?), and I always assume the worst.
Side note about my cane–I actually wanted a walking stick–they look less, I don’t know, orthopedic. I’d seen some very stylish walking sticks, but then I realized that I’d never seen a walking-stick store. Or walking-sticks in a store. I couldn’t imagine that everyone with a walking stick hand-carved it out of branches from their back yard, so I did some searching on the web.
Funny enough, the only sites I found for my walking-stick needs were…pimp-related. Pimphats.com . Pimpcostumes.com . I found it interesting that, apparently, the demographic group propping up the walking-stick industry would be none other than our hard-working pimps. Turns out there’s a vast selection of stick options, including one that can (no lie) be filled with a pint of your favorite booze. Now that’s being at peace with being an alcoholic-when you don’t even bother to hide the bottle, choosing instead to guzzle directly from your pimp stick.
Anyway, I should end this now. My leg’s hurting, I need to take my Benefiber, and I’m kinda tired. Besides, my stories are on now.