Tag Archives: old

A rainy morning.

Sunday is the day that I prefer best, the day when I always try to take pictures at the botanical garden. Unfortunately, cloudy and drizzling days are never my best days. Taking pictures in the rain sucks. In this case, after two days of rain, I had decided to take pictures today despite the weather. But first, I had to take the bus. Once again, because it is Sunday, buses are running on the weekend schedule, meaning do not be in a hurry. Taking my bike was out of the question as the skies were very cloudy. Riding in the rain is an experience that I hate.

I was waiting therefore for my bus, the 197 on Rosemont street. I was alone as on a Sunday morning at 07:30 there are not many people. Most people have the good sense of sleeping in on Sunday mornings. Facing me on the other side of the street was another bus stop, for the bus going in the opposite direction.

As I was looking in a distracted way at the other bus stop a woman appeared, walking slowly and shuffling her feet. From across the street she appeared to be well dressed. I continued walking slowly on my sidewalk waiting for my bus. I then saw the woman slowly walk over to my sidewalk and walk directly towards me. She asked in a small voice,” Do you have change so I can eat?” I replied in a matter-of-fact no, I did not. This was a lie, but my policy is never to give to people who ask for money. In her case, I was more right than I am usually.

She must have been in her 60’s as her face was quite wrinkled. I quickly looked at her clothing and her shoes and found them to be very nice. The shoes were not cheap I was sure. She did not look malnourished to me. What she seemed to me was someone who was afflicted by drinking too much alcohol. She looked unstable physically.

I suppose that she was probably waiting for people to appear so that she could ask them for money. It was not for food, I was sure of that. Her walk indicated to me that she may have indulged just before asking me for money. The strange thing was that just after this I could not see her on the street. She seemed to have vanished in a few minutes. She probably did not live far and probably had the habit of waiting for buses to appear so she could ask people. As the bus was not coming she decided to ask me.

My morning at the garden was short as by 08:15 it was drizzling and by 09:45 I was out of there. Intermittent rain is probably the worse as you never know when it stops and continues. With only two good subjects today, a heron and a hawk, I could say that I should probably have done like most people today, remain in bed.

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The oldest skateboarder in the world.

I was taking the metro the other day when I saw an incredible sight; I saw the oldest skate-boarder in the world. As the door opened I saw him lying on the floor like a lanky 16 year old teenager with his backpack behind his head as a makeshift pillow and a National Geographic magazine on his chest. His eyes were closed as if he were sleeping.

Evidently he had chosen to lie there for when I arrived there were seats available. He had deliberately chosen not to sit in them, thus making a statement and signaling to people that he had chosen to lead a different sort of life.

He wore a gray shirt with the sleeves cut-off with a black short and brown shoes. Below his cap I could see his gray hair and in my opinion, he must have been well over 45 years old. The glasses he wore told me that he was not in his prime anymore. But of course he could have been wearing them all his life, who knows.

I looked at his muscles; they were the muscles of an active man who was accustomed to exercise. His legs were those of a runner or cyclist and not those of a flabby and sedentary 45 year old. His arms were well built but less so than his legs, indicating to me that he was not into lifting weights. His whole body cried out that here was an athlete, not only a weekend warrior.

His skateboard was on his right side lazily lying next to him and protecting him like a shield. I half expected to see Excalibur somewhere near him.

Not once did he look up to the passengers seated in front of him. He was totally oblivious to mankind, an independent man he was.

Finally we arrived at the end of the line. I stood up at the same time that he did and once again I looked at his well toned muscles. That he was in top shape was without a doubt. Maybe he was a man that had skateboarded all his life and had refused to give in to time and its ravages. Maybe he just did not bother looking back, endlessly comparing himself to his younger self, that self that did not exist anymore. He was a skateboarder, and that was all that mattered to him, whether he was 25 or 45. He probably had enjoyed his sport for a long time and had no intention of giving it up, even if time marched on.

Perhaps we too should be more like him. We too should not be so prompt to obey when the man in the mirror tells us that we are too old for this or that, and that perhaps we should take it easy. We should firmly say to that man in the mirror to take a hike, or better yet, to go on one. Literally. Perhaps then the adventurous spirit of our youth will re-awaken from its slumbering, just waiting for the master to return.

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On being old and knowing it too!

The other day I applied for a job and was invited to an interview with a prospective employer. The odds were against me but in such cases where one has nothing to lose the correct thing to do is to say yes and to act. At best you get what you want and at worse you are in the same position that you started in. Yes, life can be as simple as that at times.

So I sat down in the office and looked around me; two other people were there seated, young by the looks of it and totally immersed in their intelligent apple. I, the old foggy at 52, was looking at the walls of the room, and then looking at my shoes, and then again looking at the walls. Such pretty walls. I then examined my hands and counted my fingers. I was pleasantly numbed by all this. The room looked more like the waiting room of a dentist or doctor, except that there were no magazines to read. I suppose that you do not need magazines when you have a zillion of them available in your intelligent apple.

I observed the young people; both were casually dressed and relaxed, while I was dressed more for an outing at a restaurant, minus the tie. I hate those devices whose sole purpose is to cut off the flow of oxygen to the brain of the person foolish enough to wear them. I suppose that it is necessary if you want to pontificate on important subjects but as I had nothing to pontificate on, I will leave that to politicians and bureaucrats and of course, the pope.

Finally I am ushered to the interview room along with another prospect. The person doing the interview was probably in their mid-20’s and was exceedingly polite. It all felt awkward, as if somehow we were discussing funeral preparations for a loved one. The other prospect was probably in his late 20’s and was more of a show-off so I was happy when the interviewer focused on him rather than me with his questions.

After this interview came another interview and again, the interviewer was probably in his late 20’s to early 30’s. I took it all in stride. I still remember when I was the youngest in the company, and then I saw steadily how I became the oldest in the company. None of this is worthy of doing a song and dance number of course. As long as I don’t see the grim reaper running after me I will be content and continue on my old foggy ways.

In the end I did not get the job after wasting nearly four solid hours of my life and at 52, this matters more than at 22. I can still hear the grim reaper laughing at me as I exited the building.

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