I’m not really in favor of this getting old stuff. I’ve no reason to doubt that it beats the alternative by a mile — at least for now — but apart from a certain bemused perspective on things that formerly seemed much more important, I’d gladly trade the mature philosophy for the steel trap memory of my callow youth.
We used to live in an apartment building that sported an elevator lined with mirrors. It was the only elevator in the building, so it was also the one everyone used for moving things in and out of the three upper floors. The previous Formica lining, far and away more durable than mirrors, was pretty well beaten up after a couple of years. One need not speculate for long to discern the eventual outcome for the mirrors.
While we reflected on the pending optical disaster we had the privilege of observing our increasingly decrepit corporal selves in halogen-lit starkness twice a day or so. You must understand that there was a time when I — and most assuredly my ex-model wife — had no fear of mirrors, and were in fact known to frequently seek them out. In my case, at least, that’s no longer true. I don’t exactly shy from them as if threatened with a sharpened stake but, on the other hand, that business of having no reflection in mirrors must comfort an aging vamp along about the third millennium or so.
In my case, I still half expect to see the 18-year-old who used to swim two or three miles every now and then just because he could — the same sonofabitch who could walk into Sears, buy anything off the rack, and walk out looking like an ad in Esquire. The reality isn’t actually all that bad, it’s just not who’s supposed to be there.
My wife (clearly a much healthier person than I emotionally) just adjusted her blouse and checked her makeup. I tried to ignore the old guy standing next to her, handsome and distinguished though he may have been.
Callow youth beats distinguished in a fair fight every time.
P.S. At least she is still beautiful.