I’ve finally gotten old

It’d be easy to argue that I’ve been aging since I was born, some 34.5 years ago. What of those nine months during gestation, when I was but a parasite? We’ll them a growth, but not aging, period.

Tonight, I finally got old, though. It happened tonight while I was paying for my groceries. But, it started last week.

Last week, I was making fun of how some of my students skip rope. I was prancing around like a gymnast with a ribbon. It was entertaining. Nah, it was graceful. Until I fell and twisted my knee to the jeers and joyful laughter of my students.

For the last week, I’ve been hobbling around. I’ve been using my getting up from a chair as a threat. I take each step as a challenge, jealously avoiding youthful hops that easily clear three.

“Please don’t make me get up from this chair.”

“I’ll meet you there.”

“Dude, you gotta help me carry this.”

When I leave work, I reach into my bag, searching for a bottle of Tylenol that I’ve started carrying around. Most nights, I think, “No, it’s important to experience pain; it’s how your body lets you know that something is wrong.” Other nights, I pool saliva in my mouth while working open the child-proof lid.

Tonight, though, the cashier presented me with a special offer that I didn’t understand. She was asking if I wanted to buy vitamins. I agreed and purchased a bottle of Vitamin D tablets.

Then, when paying for my purchases, I stared at the debit machine as it kept beeping at me. I kept holding my card against the screen. The machine kept beeping.

The cashier reminded me that purchases over $100 can’t be made using Interac Flash. So, I inserted my card into the machine. Backwards. The machine beeped again, and I just stared at it.

When I finally inserted my card correctly, I couldn’t figure out whether to use the touch screen or the keypad. I re-read every option and instruction. I didn’t know when to punch in my PIN number, which took me a minute to remember.

So, fine.

Then, I had to get my groceries up to my apartment. Unable to carry much weight, I took carefully balanced steps from my car to the door of the garage where I had to put down my bags to find my keys and open the door. This happened at each of the four doors that I had to open before getting to the elevator, where I had to put down my bags to push the button.

Now, it’s after 10 o’clock in the evening and all I want to do is sleep.


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