Octogenerian! - LetterPile - Writing and Literature
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Octogenerian!

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My friend, Walter and I are at similar times in our lives

Octogenarian!
Although the calendar, various infirmities, failing senses and a panolpy of wrinkles underscore the depressing fact that my writer friend, Walter, is in his eightieth year, soon to be an...octogenarian, perish the word.
Of course, people have been reminding him for many a moon that the sands were running swiftly through the hour glass and claiming the sobriquet "spring chicken" was not for him as much as 30 years previously.
But it never bothered Walt before. Cuadragenerian, (40-49) were wonderful years where everything still funcioned, he ruminates; the young(ish) ladies were still interested. He remained strong as the proverbial lion; could drink or fornicate all night and do it again tomorrow, write daily and never miss a deadline.
Same for the fifties as he became an unworried quinquagenerian; on through the sixties, a sexagenerian. But when he hit 70 and joined the creaking ranks of the septuagenerians, he was at least starting to realize he was late in the game and there was much more living behind him than could ever be ahead.
Walt claims he still held up his end, (ahem); and had stopped drinking some years ago; never smoked; walked a lot until fate intervened: He contacted a nasty urinary tract infection in early 2017, causing some mental confusion and a fall. This meant 5 weeks in hospital and three months rehab.
That just about brings this senior citizen up to date. Yes, much nicer to be a senior citizen in the USA, Walt smiles, than described as an old man, an OAP, (old age pensioner), or even the cold, older person, or worse, older adult in ageist Britain. Not to mention the behind-your-back slang, "old git," "old fart," and many more, such as the awful "wrinkly," or "cotton-bud" applied to ageing ladies.
Unless we are one of those genetic marvels that seems to go on and on up to their one-hundreth birthday and more, like my uncle, Billy, who finally called it quits at 101; captained Kings College rugby team until he was 44 and travelled the world until his nineties. What a lottery life is, Billy's younger brother, Bobby, blown up in his Spitfire aged 23 in WW2.
But that's not Walt who is an on again, off again, diabetic 2, a fight to beat the deadly elevated blood sugar. Live like a monk - no diabetes, live like a normal human, pills or insulin, and, as the lady in the window in Amsterdam ruefully complained, "Pricks all night!" Mine are just in the fingers, thank goodness, laughs Walter!
He also fought high blood pressure since 1984; needs hearing aids, another cataract op. IBS, ED, arthritis and a skin like a crocodile.
He still chases younger women Are you calling me a womaniser, he snarls? Hell, yes! and who wants a girlfriend his age!?
I can't but agree, old age does close many doors: All those things you promised yourself you would do one day? Too late, you won't have a yacht and sail around the world; the porsche you have yearned for is too small, not to mention unaffordable; I'll stick to the Honda CR-V, it will - as the British woefully comment, usually about their shoes, "These will see me out." Walt has a Dacia and likes the economy and to hell with badge status!
Like my friend, I shan't be married again, a state I had always wanted to make a success of, after several failed attempts, and a better dad this time. Sadly, it may mean being alone until the final curtain, although there are couple off female friends; my dear Susie passed away last April.
I do have the budgies, of course! Walter has a cat.
Of course, the really wealthy are rarely alone, Howard Hughes is an exception. Anyone who says you can't buy a good facsimile of love is fooling you and themselves.
Britain and I believe, the USA to an extent has become a matriachal society. It's the older women who aspire towards, advertise for, and acompany younger men. It's female talking heads who anchor the TV channels, news programs and even traditionally male sports! Its the girls who go out on Friday night; vomit on the streets and lie around with everything showing until bundled into a car by friends or the police. Hey! That used to be our role! Can't say I miss it.
I am not sure I quite agree with the poet, Dylan Thomas, and the stirring words against accepting the march of Time in good grace...
"Do not go gentle into that good night
Old age should burn and rage at the close of day
Rage, rage, rage against the dying of the light"
Walt has decided no eightieth birthday for this spry oldster, He is going to declare 78 this next birthday! Start rolling the years back again...and why not? I think that's a great idea!
Hubbers who know me well will see similarities in Walter and my state in life...who said there are no coincidences? (It was E.K-Ross)
Budding writers on HP, don't do as I do, do as I say, keep the first person singular OUT of your articles

Comments

diogenes on June 09, 2019:

Dear Ms. Clark: Never posted false pictures. The one you say you liked is about 8 years old. The one you are not so fond of was taken last month.

Trump had a good visit here and behaved like a statesman! He has many hats!

Take care my old friend

Bob x

diogenes on June 09, 2019:

Hi Strictly, our funniest lady! Thanks for warm words

Bob x

diogenes on June 09, 2019:

Hi strictly: Our funniest lady! Thanks for warming words...

Bob x

diogenes on June 09, 2019:

Hi Peggy: Wish I felt like some say I look! Thanks!!!

Bob x

diogenes on June 09, 2019:

Hi Audrey: Movie star! Whew...thanks for that

Bob x

StricktlyDating on June 09, 2019:

Ageing gracefully I see with that timeless charm!

C E Clark from North Texas on April 09, 2019:

Must say, your new picture looks nothing like you. Liked your previous one better, but it probably wasn't you either. So, are you 80 yet? Know you've been working on it for a long time. :)

The U.S., where I've lived for a while now, is nowhere near a matriarchal society. If anything, it's reversing course the last few years. I've met more chauvinists in the last couple of years than in my entire life previously. Nothing has changed otherwise. All men, but especially the geezers, seem to imagine themselves God's gift to women, and prime hopefuls for the Mr. America pageant. The idea that no one would want an older woman for a lady friend? What makes you think anyone wants the old geezer? If anyone wants anything, it's his hot sexy bank account that interests them -- if anything does, assuming he has one.

Good to know you're keeping up. We are getting our first all but 90º temperature day, today. The horrible hot is back. I think Trump is still worse, even than the awful heat. I wouldn't miss either if they were gone.

Take care, and keep on keeping on . . .

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 27, 2019:

Those of us who have reached a certain age can relate to some or perhaps all of what you wrote. It is a good day above ground as Audrey wrote and we must each make the best of it. You must have good genes as you do not look like your stated age. I would shave several decades off of that. Continue to do whatever you are doing!

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on March 27, 2019:

Bob,

What a terrific article. I enjoyed every bit. And, what a wonderful photo this is. You've been blessed with movie star looks. I've hit the age where I'm just happy to wake up above the ground. I'm in no hurry to leave this existence. But the man upstairs may have something to say about this.

Love your writing!

diogenes (author) from UK and Mexico on March 25, 2019:

Hi Genna, how's ya craic? (Irish greeting). Dylan died in New York in 1953 while in a coma caused by his gigantic alcoholism and smoking...Wiki has a good article on him worth reading, he was a real wild child of those times and (I believe) a great poet.

Thanks for the kind words, dear, I must say I feel it!

Bob x

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on March 25, 2019:

Hi Bob...

What a great photo, and must say you don't look anywhere near your age. What a charmer of an article -- much like it's author. And I have to admit that I'm on the fence with the late, great Dylan Thomas...how old was he when he wrote, "Do not go gentle into that good night"? If memory serves, he never made it beyond his middle years.

Good to see you writing...

diogenes (author) from UK and Mexico on March 23, 2019:

Thanks Will...race ya to the heavenly gate!

WillStarr from Phoenix, Arizona on March 23, 2019:

First, what a great portrait. You certainly are a handsome old bastard my friend and I mean that in the nicest way!

Next, such a well timed article. I am approaching the same age-status myself, but, considering the alternative, I look forward to old age as long as my health holds out.

Ageism is one of the few acceptable 'isms' here in the US. Old, white, straight, Christian males can still be insulted at will in our PC society.

This is a very good Hub, my friend.