I am only going to be 65 years old for four more months. Then I will be 66… even if I croak off this mortal coil before my birthday. It is heck getting older. My eyes and memory and joints all work far less well then they did a decade ago, even a year ago, heck, even last week. They don’t tell you this when you’re young, but you don’t have to be dead to start decomposing. And that doesn’t mean un-writing this essay, though maybe that would be a good idea based on that last sentence.
It is inevitable that the longer we live, the more our aging bodies are going to gradually break down, work properly with more difficulty, and cause us pain and loss.
And as we age, our minds drift back to childhood and days long gone. We obsess about little things. Especially the little things we have lost.
The sense of adventure is mostly gone from our daily lives. Things have settled into a permanence, and the limits of fame, fortune, and future expectations have all been irreversibly set. All we can do to reclaim any of that is to reflect, to remember, and to tell stories about it.
I had a recent story idea that I have begun calling by the title The Haunted Toy Store. It is about a small-town store filled with antique toys that nobody ever buys. And the store owner is very creepy and quiet and does practically no business. People wonder how he makes a living. But there are definitely ghosts in the toy store. And in the long run, it is discovered that the true customers are the ghosts. And the toys are actually the people that are lured in, especially the children, that the ghosts play with. It is not a horror story. It is a comedy adventure. But, like any good story, there is conflict and a number of scary moments.
Why would I even consider telling a story like this? Well, because I am old. There are certain truths, certain experiences, and a lot of goofy observations that I still need to tell about my life, and pretend that somehow it all adds up to wisdom. I am growing old, walking around naked more than ever, forgetting where I put my glasses while I am still wearing them, grumbling to myself like a cereal killer (I did not misspell that, I mean killing boxes of high-fiber cereal,) and arguing with the dog about whether or not dogs can talk, or if I can trust her to write another blog post or not. I will probably be losing my mind soon. I keep forgetting which box I put it in last night when I wake up in the morning and need it again. So, I better slow down and try to do it all the right way.