Yes, I am old. I am not merely feeling old as school teachers do at the end of a school day, I am retired, I am on Medicare, and I am literally an old man. I am even old enough and mature enough to know what the word “literally” actually means and use it correctly in a sentence.
I don’t hear things as well as I used to. I don’t see as well as I once did. Being partially red and green colorblind, I don’t see colors as vividly as I used to. I have learned why old goobers like me let their glasses ride low over their nose. You can look over your glasses at the things around you that you don’t really want to see.
As an author of highly imaginative nonsense, I am really beginning to understand why “dirty old man” jokes are a thing. Writing a fairy story has led me to draw and write about a bunch of nude fairies. It isn’t really so much a sexual-perversion thing as it is a memory of and a longing for something that I no longer have in my life. It’s also the same sort of mental quirkiness as the “being a nudist” thing. I am not interested in the ugly pornographic sort of things, more the innocent, pristine, and long-gone things of youth.
And I see things that I know aren’t really there. Eyes staring at me from the bushes at night. Fairies flitting around the autumn leaves on bug wings. The back half of a ghost dog walking out the back door of the house even though the door isn’t open. I would doubt that I have ever seen a UFO if it weren’t for the fact that I was younger for the first two and my eldest son was with me and saw the third one too.
So, I admit that I have become a crazy old coot. But the best thing about being an old coot is the fact that I have earned it. I worked hard for a lifetime. I taught English competently for thirty-one years. I successfully raised three kids to adulthood. I have been a stable and useful part of society for more than forty years. So, I earned my crazy old cootishness. And I mean to enjoy it while I still have it.