I was going to title this Why Drain the Swamp. But then I thought wait a second I wouldn’t mind draining the stinky, racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, rotting parts of the swamp. Otherwise, what’s wrong with the swamp?
I used to make up bedtime stories for my kids. One story that we all loved was about a a very smart Macaw who adopted a family and then takes them on an adventure to find his home. “Clever” was one of those stories that survived the test of time (about 25 years since my kids were little). My eldest requested an illustrate version of the story so that she could share it with her children.
I don’t know, it was the color of the sky, the silhouetted shapes, the setting sun…the picture just had to be taken. It’s not great or anything but there was something whimsical about the berries and the stems they hung on and the rhythm of the leaves.
I didn’t think my first day as a 60 year old would make that much difference. Yes, I had the normal amount of anxious thoughts. For instance, does “old” start now? Am I now decrepit? I wondered if my body was going to start breaking off piece by piece, like in that great movie Death Becomes Her. Or maybe it would be more like Monty Python and the Holy Grail where the knight is being hacked to pieces and he’s left with no arms, no legs and continues to insist “it’s just flesh wound.” I’m already beginning to feel a little bit like that but that’s not the point.
So, the birthday was great, family, gifts etc. Then the next day, it’s off to workout. The gym is not my kind of place. I’m a loner and sedentary at best, so when I go, I hide behind my earphones and close my eyes while on the elliptical thingy and pretend I’m not really there. No one bothers me and that’s all I ask while I suffer through my exercises.
After warming up, it was now off to lift weights and there the problem
presented itself. I was happily lifting away the old-lady-flabby-arm-parts and doing those squatty-lungie-things while holding a stupid amount of weights, when I realized too late that I had made a fatal mistake. I had taken off my earphones and was left open to not only the whole world but to the man that was one bench over pumping iron like his life depended on it. He looked at me. I quickly looked away but I could feel “it” coming. It was like the electricity you feel just before the storm. You can see the dark line of cumulus clouds rolling in straight for you but it’s memorizing and we’re just to transfixed to move out of the way. Not only that but in this case there was nowhere to run to. I just had to resign myself that I was about to get dumped on.
I paused for a second and thought about my rights to be there, in the weight room, even though there were mostly macho-dudes and intimidating equipment. I stood my ground and watched as the storm came in. His name was Joe. He hadn’t seen me here before but boy did I look fit! (Could I say f*** you now or did I have to take more?) He looked to be in his late 70’s and all of a sudden I got dizzy. This is who I’m attracting now that I’ve turned 60?!!? I turn 60 and I lure octogenarians? He told me to enjoy my work-out after a little more ogle, but the damage was done. I was shaken and could only stretch for about 30 seconds more before feeling the need to flee. Most of my exercise came by sprinting out of the rec. center with downcast eyes so as not to attract the attention of any more senior citizens…like me. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough! Such was day one of being 60. Do I now have to be thankful that I got flirted with at all? Jeez.