I don’t think I actually age – I present an illusion of growing older and, eventually, my body mirrors my behavior with the simulacra of age.
I’m in decent shape, yet when I’m at work bend down to fetch a fallen paper clip below my desk I am in the habit of letting out a little groan. I never thought I needed the groan – it seemed like the thing to do when squatting half-sideways to reach under my desk.
Today as we walked in the door I reached down to pick up the mail and groaned, and I don’t even think I meant to. It just happened as I bent down.
Sometimes I feel like that’s the story of my life: acting old and then growing into it, blithely discarding youth without realizing its value.
When we traveled to Jamaica I refused to play with the other kids – I had packed a suitcase full of books, I informed the children’s director, and had no intent on nosing about, wasting my vacation meeting other children.
I was nine.
I feel the same way now, quick to invite myself into conversation with older co-workers, nodding along because I get all their jokes about old teevee shows, and going on about our Retro Party and all the Doo Wop music I grew up with.
In the eighties.
I’m worried that one night I will walk through the door and be fifty, suddenly wondering where all those lithe, childish years got off to.