Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Guess What? You ARE the old guy!

     Wha' happened?  I woke up that morning full of my usual vim and vigor ready to conquer the days tasks. For days now I had been walking around like Kong and the world was populated by villagers with nappy 'fros and big bones in their noses. I was King and all trembled when I approached. Then it happened.
     Let me first say that we all are keenly aware of the aging process. We are born, we go through puberty, live life to the fullest before we keel over at 95. We never think of ourselves as what we are. When we are youngsters we cannot wait to be teenagers, even going so far as to add to our ages as we go. You are not 1. You are 1 and a half. Never 8. 8 and a half. Then we become teenagers and we just jump to the next age ( or two in some cases.) Who didn't say " Imma be 18!" when they were 14?  By the way, 30 is ancient.
      Then you become 30. You still laugh at the old guy at the bar. With his suit that is either a little too big or way too little. A hat made of straw or a baseball cap turned backwards, you know, to be hip.He still thinks that he is the bizzomb as he approaches every 22 year old in the place with a scorched earth tactic that rivaled Hiroshima. Little do you know but you are but a few short years and a gray hair or two from being that guy.
     Well that day arrived for me on that day when Kong still ruled, or so I thought. I went to work at the US Postal Service and went about my duties as a city letter carrier as I had countless times before. I cased up the mail. Made jokes with my fellow postal workers. Tried to outwit my supervisor in our daily mental  jousts.
Pulled down my route and headed to the street with no idea what lay ahead.
     "It" happened when I, after a few hours of diligent servic....okay I really just kinda screwed off for a few hours putting mail in the wrong boxes, driving around breaking traffic laws( a perk of driving that mail truck), and being a general jerk. I was walking up to this porch where three young mamacitas were wiling away the afternoon looking fly and all that. I noticed the cute one in the middle kinda glanced at me and gave me "the look." Well, what my old man eyes told me was "the look." I thought it was a come hither look but it turned out to be a "aw, he can still move without a walker" look. I rolled up with my confidence beaming and after dropping my voice an octave said " How you fiiiine young ladies doin' today?"  See, to me, they were obviously in awe of my virility laced manliness yet I was in for a surprise.
     The cutie pie in the middle looked up, her eyes alight, and parted her recently glossed lips and said in the sweetest voice " We are fine.....SIR."
     Sir? SIR? Who am I, my father? Closer to my grandfather the way they looked at me. That is when it struck me. I am, to them, the old guy mailman. Short pants and black socks up to my knees. Gray hairs sprouting from places I cannot mention. Old...guy..!
     Being old isn't too bad though. Prune juice is not all that bad. The smell of mothballs is actually pleasing to the olfactory senses.People say that afternoon naps and diapers are for babies. I have to disagree. Not to mention senior discounts and faking dementia to get out of trouble with cops, teachers and spouses. I say, as an old guy, that we should be proud of our flabby arms and wrinkled butts. We should....uh,what was I saying again?  Nevermind, I think the nursing home is serving tapioca pudding tonight....

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