Monday, September 10, 2007

Old age

I used to think retirement might actually be something to look forward to. No more shitty job. No more rat race. I'm beginning to think that may be another one of my delusions.

From Philip Roth's Everyman:

But then something unforeseen happened, unforeseen and unpredictable: he had lived close to three quarters of a century, and the productive, active life was gone. He neither possessed the productive man's allure nor was capable of germinating the masculine joys, and he tried not to long for them too much. On his own he had felt for a while that the missing component would somehow return to make him inviolable once again and reaffirm his mastery, that the entitlement mistakenly severed would be restored and he could resume where he'd left off only a few years before. But now it appeared that like any number of the elderly, he was in the process of becoming less and less and would have to see his aimless days through to the end as no more than what he was--the aimless days and the uncertain nights and the impotently putting up with the physical deterioration and the terminal sadness and the waiting and waiting for nothing.This is how it works out, he thought, this is what you could not know.

Old age isn't a battle; old age is a massacre.

18 Comments:

Blogger Angelissima said...

on that cheerful note...
That's why we dummies get married have kids - to keep us company in our old age. To give us grandchildren to spoil and happy memories to cherish.

We can look forward to retirement, the easy life, more time to enjoy spending time with the people we love and visit the places we've always wanted to see.
Sounds like a commercial for Boca.

I don't know. I just want to live out my golden years as a crazy women in a beach shack and drive around in an old MG. Maybe take up smoking copious amount of pot and painting watercolors.

4:39 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

Make young friends.
My father never joined the senior citizens club because "those old people" were always complaining about their aches and pains.
Join a yoga class or start stretching. I've cured a heel spur, a groin pull, and am in the process of fixing a pinched nerve. Yes, stretching is the key. And ladies love yoga classes.

8:01 PM  
Blogger Gina said...

One sad and gloomy afternoon, while flipping through the pages of AARP Monthly, Everyman happened upon the ad. He had seen it before. It seemed that millions of prehumous men were already benefiting from the delightful effects of Tillieman's Testosterone Cream. Hmm.... Probably just a gimmick, a sick joke, he thought, but what the heck did he have to lose? Suddenly it was as if he could hear a faint voice, coming from somewhere within him calling his name. " Do it...do it". Could it be a sign? Everyman lost no time in dialing the number and within days recieved his first shipment Of Tillie Cream. Sure enough....a reaction. At first it was a whisper which gradually grew into a fevered pitch within him. Never in his wildest dreams had he expected these kind of results. Why, before he knew it, Everyman's litle man was back in business, up and running and feeling like his 20 year self again! He reveled in his new found vitality and sought to spread the word! Tillie cream for every man everywhere! :-)

it's real. it works wonders.

12:20 AM  
Blogger Angelissima said...

My Dad epidomizes Brian's comment.
He doesn't like hanging out with those "old people". He practices yoga daily, drinks green tea and is a bold skirt watcher.

Seriously, who wants to hang out with crotchety old farts complaining about their various aches and pains?

The man beat cancer twice, just had his heart completely renovated and has an unstoppable zest for life.

I think thats the key...zest. Remember Zest soap? I haven't seen it in years. I wonder if its still on the market.

6:15 AM  
Blogger BayonneMike said...

Hey, I'm all for zest, Viagra, ointments, what have you, but sooner or later life starts crushing you. I don't care what you smear on yourself, that's nothing to look forward to.

7:45 AM  
Blogger Gina said...

In the mean time, let's have fun and find something to slather on ourselves. Mike....get a pedicure!!! A back rub! Yes!

Call me.

1:07 PM  
Blogger Gina said...

Thanks Phil, you've succeeded in oppressing your middle aged readers, filling their heads with paranoia and misery...messing with the minds of middle aged America. GROW UP!

Yeah,old age can suck but not everyday. Besides, you can always take our short bus to day care and join us one afternoon for book discussion. We need more men.

6:42 PM  
Blogger BayonneMike said...

You probably need more men because they've all died off.

6:38 AM  
Blogger Rambler said...

Yes, this is why my father who never had anytime for me growing up now has all the time in the world. I live "Cats in the Cradle."

That said, if I have enough money for a comfortable retirement, bring it on. I feel useless already, if I can sleep in and feel useless, that would rock!

7:52 AM  
Blogger Susan Kelly Skitt said...

There is a fountain of life...

8:05 AM  
Blogger Angelissima said...

For the love of Mike, Mike!
C'mon.

If all else fails you could be the drunk annoying old man at the baahh.

I'm ready to call the suicide hotline on your ass.

2:53 PM  
Blogger Angelissima said...

Have you considered the standards?
The American Songbook?
Drunk, singing the American Songbook?

Don't give up hope. How about we all move to a retirement village, drink manhattans and play gin rummy (after tons of coffee and yoga of course)

2:56 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

Take out some big loans. My buddy Ed McDonald says don't worry about owing money, that's just more people who'll pray that you'll stay alive.

Damn Jets last week made me want to end it all too. But I have the Mets in October to look forward to. I'm glad you met my son last year at Shea before you croak yourself.

5:40 PM  
Blogger BayonneMike said...

Whoa. Who said anything about croaking myself? I'm just looking the thing square in the face. What am I supposed to do? Join a church, smear myself with ointment, and start singin' "Happy Days are Here Again"?

7:17 AM  
Blogger Gina said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10:06 PM  
Blogger Gina said...

Sometimes I think these authors should be getting kickbacks from psychiatrists and drug companies with all of the misery they are pedaling. How can you dwell on stuff like this, when the music you like has an opposite effect? Medicine for misery. How can you eat food you like while in a sense you consume and digest words that are depressing? I don't get why you'd feed yourself a ficitonal doctrine of misery? Obviously he is not in a position to offer any hope. Oh wait. I got you all those Richard Yates books. Schnikees. Sorry, Mike. Charles Portis was good. The bible is good. Read the book of John again. Put some salve on that mind. It will help clear your head. Carry on. Love ya.

Happy Days are here again is a bit over the top. How bout "Come on get happy."

11:07 PM  
Blogger Gina said...

turn into the couch. zzzzzz

11:15 PM  
Blogger Gina said...

Seriously, Mike. You have a very valid point. I see the ravages of time in the bodies and minds of my patients everyday. Though we try to stall and eventually find ways to cope with the deterioration, aging is not all fun and games, is it? We just make the best of it. Accept where we are in life and keep abreast of the research. You should listen when I tell you to take your Coenz yme 10 and DHEA. Anyway, I guess alot of it is a matter of how you think and feel, what you believe, and live now which will affect the aging process. And then there are the genes... hormones...

All through the book of Eccleciatees, King David was mulling over these things too from the perspective of a wise old man. So true, and yet we look for hope, and Christians hold onto Christ Jesus, whose life and death and resurrection were prophecied over and over again throughout the old testament. The one who came to destroy the "sting of death". Anyway...David's words on aging:

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=25&chapter=12&version=31

"Have a nice day." Bon Jovi

6:42 AM  

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