Tag Archives: aging

Sure I’m poor, but I came by it honest.

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

The 20-30 people down at my physical therapy are surprisingly homogenous and I’m not saying anything about sexual preferences.  We’re all white, all but three are men, and all but two are above the age of 60.  The nurses, also are all white, but their ages cover a spread from around 30 to a cautious guess of 60.

So when I asked one of the nurses, “Where do you keep all your ethnics?” while she was taking g my blood pressure it seemed an obvious question.  An expression of surprise crossed her face and she flinched, or sort of jumped, then her eyes scanned the room and the people on all the machines. 

What do you mean?”   Seemed more of an accusation than question.

Hey, we all look alike in here.  Everyone here seems to be old, male, white and other than me, well-to-do.  All except me are fairly unpleasing to the eye.  Don’t people with skin pigment get cardiac problems?”  I was just wising off.  I already knew Olathe’s an affluent community and area.   But watching her facial reactions kept me at it.

 Anyway, the old guy at the NUSTEP machine next to me felt the need to set me straight when she went on to other matters.  “We’re not all well to do!”  He ground his teeth a bit.  “I used to be but I lost it all in 401Ks.”  His face was reddening and the blood vessels on his bald scalp were becoming visible.

Sure I’m poor.  But I got that way through honest hard work, good credit, bad marriages, and trusting the 401K people.  Not like these people who got born into it and didn’t get out because of shiftless laziness and rotten attitude.”  I finished my time about then and just grinned.  Couldn’t think of anything to say.

Damn I love that Physical Therapy at Olathe Hospital.  I’m going to be sorry when it runs out.

Old Jules

 

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Paradigm Shifts – Same Song, New Shorter Stanza

Time was, ages 15, 25, 35, 45, 55, an inordinate time without hearing from a friend, he’d pick up the phone.  If nothing came of it, wondering whether he pissed the person off, whether something’s wrong.  Does a bit of memory searching about the last meeting, conversation, communication trying to recall anything sour.

Decades roll by and a person goes through a lot of friends, discovers a lot who’d been thought of as friends weren’t, discovers there was no bottom to it, or the bottom was too soft to hold an anchor.  Realizes people need to have elbow-room and it might as well include a lack of interest in continuing communication with whomever they wish.  Just bugs on the windshield of the time machine.

“Wonder what ever became of old Jimbo Watkins,” a person muses.  “Best man at his wedding.  Can’t recall seeing him much after his 25th Anniversary party.  Hmm.  Most likely dead, I reckons.”

“Wonder what ever became of old David McCreary.  Stayed in touch and visited all those years.  God-Father to his kids, watched them grow up.  Last I heard he was teaching English in China somewhere.  Had a Chinese wife.

“Hmm.  Most likely dead, I reckons.”

As late as the 1990s I must have seen things this way, because I wrote it:

To Stanley, Hank, and Others
Gone before

Eyesight blurs with years;
Silty pond of vision clears
Legion days march past,
Blend the timbre, tones;
Common denominator of sound
Runs down
Stirs a rich musical soup
Of drum, of trumpet,
Crash of boot on pavement,
Of human voice, human words,
Singing murmur of human
intercourse;
Cacophony in a foreign tongue
But hearing deepens.
“What’s that you say?
Cupped hand behind ear;
Study in vain his moving lips
Behind the roar;
Puzzle the melting printed word,
Uncomprehending,
Dawns the underlying truth,
River of comprehension
Beneath the racing chaos
Of the spoken word,
The printed page.
Blindness recedes
With failing sight;
Deafness fades
As hearing dies.
Oh, dear life.
Dear muted daze
Fast-forward
Psychedelic film
Of lost unknowing.
Poor, desolate ghosts
Lost in forgotten trails
Of yesteryear,
Wander on.
Take heart in your despair
Mute the silent horror;
Calm the wild
Searching eye
And rest.
And rest in peace.

From Poems of the New Old West

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All that damned drama.  Sheeze.  Seems completely foreign to me today.  Words someone else wrote.

Most likely just dead,” works a hell of a lot better.  Or if I’m feeling verbose, a limerick.

Old Jules