When I was a kid life was forever. At least being old was so far away I thought I did not have to think about it or consider it. When I was 20 I could only look ahead with anticipation. Spending my first year in Vietnam at 25 and 26 I became acutely aware that I could die at any moment. None of my friends who were killed there knew they were about to die.
I traveled on, always looking eagerly ahead. In a few years I will reach the average age of death for American men. Barring accident or rotten luck I see myself living far past that average age. But living or existing?
Much of that is strictly up to me, I think. But the body does begin to tire, to slow. Health begins to deteriorate at some point. I look at those around me and I see them giving in, apparently giving up. As metabolism slows waste lines expand, then balloon forward into giant bellies being pushed around by slower-moving bodies. It takes so much more effort to stay fit as we grow older.
I love living life but this aging thing is not all fun and games. The first thing I noticed pertaining to age was that somewhere in my twenties I had become invisible to teen age girls. Having married at the young age of 21 and being immersed in my military career, I wasn’t looking for women of any age, but that realization was shocking and awful to me. Unfortunately, it was only the beginning. The age of those who do not see me has risen to somewhere in the 40s, maybe higher. Oh, my gosh. How can this be?
How unfortunate that the mind and body do not move through life at the same pace. I think I’m 30—sadly, the world knows better. I see beautiful women of all ages but fewer and fewer anywhere near my age who are available. So I am drawn to the younger ones who tend to be more attractive, alive, and physically fit. However, that old invisible thing keeps showing up. And then there is that most chilling comment of all…you are so cute…
Ray Kenneth Clark