I was sitting on a green padded stool at the bar in the corner of my favorite watering hole. I’ve come here so much that I think of it as “Dave’s Corner”.
And who should walk in, but my Long Lost Cousin. In all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, he walks into mine! I think that was Bogart’s phrase in Casablanca. It was quite appropriate on this occasion!
“Hey cousin, why so glum looking?”
“I’m a pensioner now and the time seems to be flying by. I can’t keep up. I’m frightened!”
He did look pale!
“Bartender, give my cousin a gin and tonic and another beer for me.”
My cousin drank his drink fast, and re-ordered!
“Why are you frightened?”
“I feel like shouting, “Stop the world, I want to get off!”. But I’m not quite ready to jump off. I want to stop time from racing away from me. The faster time goes, the more I have to face the fact that my time is running out!”
“Well, cousin, you need to live each day to the full.”
LLC shifted his weight on the green padded stool.
“Cousin, how can you be so calm, you’re older than I am!”
“My dear cousin, I will not live in fear. What will be, will be!”
“I’m starting to feel that when youth is gone, the party is over.”
LLC’s voice and hands were shaky.
“Relax, my friend, you’ll live longer!”
“Oh, that’s real funny cousin. But WHY is this happening?”
I felt sorry for him. He was a bundle of nerves.
“Well, cousin, there are a few theories: One theory is that fewer NEW things happen in an old person’s life. There is constant routine which makes time seem to fly.”
“Oh great, now I’m going to be old and bored!”
“Hold on, here’s theory number two: Years are proportionally smaller as we get older. For example: A year is l/10th of the life of a 10 year old, but a year is 1/70th of the life of a 70 year old. Therefore, each year feels shorter relative to all the time we’ve lived and thus time seems to be going faster!”
“Too many theories, it’s boggling my mind. Age doesn’t always bring wisdom, you know, in my case it came alone!”
I smiled: “Well, at least you haven’t completely lost your sense of humor!”
“What’s theory three, not that it makes any difference.”
“You’ll like this one. Your biological clock slows down, so that means your bodily processes slow down, so your internal clock is much slower than the calendar! So, time passes much quicker than you expected it to!”
“Now I am miserable.”
“Cousin, you need to get some fun in your life.”
“Why! They say: Time flies when you’re having fun. But when you’re old, time flies whether you’re having fun of not!”
“Cousin, maybe it would help if you lived in the Present more.”
“Oh, I give up! We are all born to die and we’re certain it is going to happen. Since I am in my 7th decade, for me this inevitability will probably occur sometime within the next 20 or so years. It seems like a long time but the years are accelerating. So when it does occur, my reaction will be: “WHAT! ALREADY!”
You know, even my children who are 13 and 10 complain that time flies by too quickly. I must admit, that I thought that it slowed down with age! I also thought that the more you packed into a day, the faster it went.
In this fast-paced world we live in, I guess we should all try and take some time to ‘stop and stare’. This famous poem, which happens to be one of my favouites, sums it up nicely.
What is this life if full of care
We have no time to stand and stare?
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep, or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this, if full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
William Henry Davies 1871 – 1940
When my mother in law passed away last year and we held a memorial service at the Buddhist Temple, Reverand Ron gave a dharma talk and said “the cause of your death is your birth”. That was something to think about. So, I say now, what are ya gonna do?
Dave, what a great story – a relative, far corners of the world, meeting in the local watering hole by chance.
I’m ready for a black and tan!
In this latest Wise blog, author Dave is sitting in his favorite watering hole (Dave’s Corner) when his long lost cousin shows up unexpectedly with the weight of the world on his shoulders.
To ease the strain, Dave orders a gin and tonic for LLC which is rapidly consumed. Dave nurses his beer while ordering another drink for the distraught relative. Cuz is in his 70s and feels like life is for the young and doesn’t have much hope for his future.
Dave seems to have a formula for explaining time in terms of age, especially the senior years.
Blog readers will have to give this poignant blog a quick perusal to discover Dave’s final paragraph.
My second cousin, Pauline Harlow said:
Which cousin was this? LLC is a cousin on my
Audrey Austin said:
Enjoyed this article.
Ack! Another old age blog? I’m with your cousin. I find it depressing as hell and try not to think about ir.
Not your cousin,too,Dave !
Each Wed we are visited by my son’s autistic friend,who is in his mid-40s .Most times he says to me ” I can’t believe how quickly time goes !” My reply : “Wait till you reach your 70s !”
Other times we talk about the ISS or the Plaiedes..
I always make a point of having a chat w/ him,as I know he had a rotten start in life : both parents were alcoholics & 1 bro has foetal alcohol syndrome…
He was fostered by a couple ,who have ,sadly,both died in recent years …so we talk abt them,too.
On the subject of time ,I’m glad to give up some of mine to Don!
Good story, I think you really put your finger on it this time cousin. The only thing wrong with having more fun is it cuts into my nap time, or snack time or bedtime and of course relaxing time! But I want you to know I’m with you 100%.
By the way I’m your cousin on my father’s side.
I liked the blog. Dave and I are the same age. Old farts. The fact is that if we have 20 years left, how will we feel after 19 of them are gone. I have never been afraid of death. That is, as long as there is no pain and suffering, I wish everyone a good transition to the next dimension. Keep up the great writing Dave. You and I really do think alike.
I feel like time is what you make it. If it goes by
to fast you must be enjoying it. I know I try to
make the best of whatever time I’m here.
Thanks for the story .
Do not dwell in the Past,
do not dream of the Future,
concentrate the mind on the
Present, the Here and Now!