This Absurdity

Marius van Dokkum

What shall I do with this absurdity —

O heart, O troubled heart — this caricature,

Decrepit age that has been tied to me

As to a dog’s tail?

Yeats, “The Tower”


Although I’m old enough to qualify for Medicare A, I don’t think of myself as “a senior citizen.”   Nevertheless, manufacturers of walk-in tubs, wheel-equipped walkers, and adult-diapers have increasingly targeted me as a potential consumer.

It’s time I faced it: I am a senior citizen, a paltry thing, a tattered coat upon a stick, a demographic corpse-a-coming whose limbo-winning-contest days are way, way over. Now, catching a wave is a major accomplishment; riding my skateboard sends my heart rate into machine-gun blast parameters. Although I’d like to think my sons don’t “curse the gout, serpigo, and the rheum, /For ending [me] no sooner,” [1] it’s obvious we’re in the last ten minutes of the feature film of my life.

However, the “senior dating sites” haven’t written me off as semi-incapacitated yet. They’ve discovered I’m a widower and think I’d probably prefer to avoid a desolate, lonely, sciatica-ridden senescence sitting in my drafty garret filling in crossword puzzle books, compulsively checking my dwindling net worth, trying in vain to decipher the misshapen letters/symbols/numbers of passwords in my late wife’s address book that look as if they may have been scrawled by Woody Guthrie in the last stages of Huntington’s.

Just yesterday, SeniorMatch came on to me, in hopes whupping up some post-menopausal passion between me and a soon-to-be-discovered other, seductively pumping me with compliments, assuring me I’m “experienced” and that I “know what I like.”

We’ll have fun fun fun until the offspring take the car keys away.

Well, they’ve already gotten something wrong: I’m not experienced. Until this year, I hadn’t had a date since 1976, and on that one, she, my late wife, did the asking under the pretense I would be dining with her and her roommate, a fellow bartender. Before then, I was a serial monogamist. I think I’ve only asked someone I didn’t know well out twice.

And until this year, I didn’t realize that certain times a day held certain implications for singles meeting for a drink, that 4 pm meant something different from 7.

I do, however, know what I like: the sound of my own voice.

 

 

And what I don’t like: most people.

However, if I were to sign up, this would be my profile picture:


[1] Measure for Measure, 3.1

2 thoughts on “This Absurdity

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