It came upon me slowly. At first — just regret that all of my old friends seem to be dying off, or passing over as we say now. They were the infirm ones I told myself; not here for the long haul like me. I found comfort in mixing with the hardier members that remained; our one rule is — never talk about your ailments. As Joe put it, ‘If I wanted an organ recital I’d go to a concert.’
Of course, I am not immune to the ravages of time: stiff knees, rheumatic hands,degenerative eyesight; but as these afflictions were visited upon me — I merely changed my desires to be within my revised ability. I never felt limited. I have no desire to do rock climbing, bungee jumping, or the triathlon; so my inability do do these things never felt inhibiting.
No; it was something far subtler that caused my melancholy. I no longer feel I belong and am part of life.I do not mean obvious things like my tastes in music and clothing lag by many decades; for life, as it always has, marches on. Nor is it the fact that the young are ignorant of our deeds and culture, and dismiss us as irrelevant; for I have not kept up with their world either. I have no idea who are the current entertainers and sports icons — and more importantly why they are so worshiped.
That is the crux of my discontent; my ‘eternal truths’ of how life should be live no longer apply. What is considered honorable behavior for a man or a woman? How do the sexes relate in courtship and marriage? What taboos must never be broken? What is it that now claims our respect? Do we feel each station in life has a satisfying code of behavior?
Joe passed away yesterday. I feel I am a lone survivor; a Neanderthal living in an alien sea of a race that has supplanted us.
Dam you Homo Sapiens.