Did you know that I am old? Because, wow, am I ever. I know. It is shocking. I had no idea either until I found myself hobbling down the street this afternoon and wondering where all those kids in the restaurant found enough money to buy their own lunches.
It all started a couple of nights ago. br0k3nglass and I were standing outside on a clear night that was remarkingly not in the deathly cold category, and he pointed at a small, makeshift skating rink across the street in the park.
We should skate on that! he said.
Absolutely! I yelled, already running as fast as my wedge heels could take me across an icy road.
We did that thing that you do on ice when you do not have skates where you get a good running start, see how far you can slide, run, slide, run, slide, etcetera. This was great fun. I felt like I was seven. I was flying! And then, oh gawd, and then, I slid too well. I was experiencing that ecstatic joy of speed and cold air rushing through my hair when my feet shot ahead of my body at such an astounding rate that they kicked up off the ground. For a moment, I hung there, hip height and horizontal, thinking fuck me. I was stretched out in midair like a magic trick. And then, because of Isaac Newton and his bloody law of gravity, that time-expanding hang in which I was given space to think over exactly how much it was going to hurt in approximately 0.2 seconds lasted approximately 0.2 seconds.
BAM! I landed first on my left butt cheek and elbow and then the rest of my limbs and my head bounced against the ice.
I thought it would hurt right away, but I was wrong in that assumption. I did not account for the fact that I would experience a short blackout before I saw br0k3nglass standing over me with huge eyes asking if I was alright. Cool, I thought. He's all red and those lights so sparkly around his head.
So, now I hobble and have to ease myself in and out of chairs, which is what I did at the Vietnamese restaurant we went to today. I hobbled and eased and ate my noodles. I chatted with the Palinode. I checked out the other people in the restaurant. I did a double-take of the people in the restaurant.
How old were these people? I mean really? Their hair was so natural in colour and finely textured. Their skin, aside from occasional acne, was glowing. They laughed too loud with really white teeth framed by full lips. They must have been sixteen. But why was the restaurant almost solely populated with sixteen-year-olds with money? It was more of grown-up place than a teenage hangout. Didn't sixteen-year-olds suck back as many free refills as they can rather than order whole meals?
Suddenly, I was hit with the realization that these were not teenagers. These were twenty-somethings. This is what twenty-somethings look like to me all of a sudden. I mean, I am only thirty-five, but sweet jeebus, did they look like kids to me all of a sudden. These people were old enough for full-time jobs and paying rent and getting married and having babies and buying cars, and I had an urge to tell a couple of them to do up their coats when they were leaving.
I was made all the more keenly aware of this when I had to ease myself out of my chair and hobble to the cash register to pay. And the Palinode is still walking with a cane. And I've been wearing a little-old-lady fake-fur coat.
I have a sudden urge to invest in life insurance. And maybe pick out a funeral plot or two.
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