A few weeks ago I was in a Ross store buying some tights, and the clerk, who was -- maybe -- 12, looked at me and said in a monotone: "Are-you-55-or-older." No question mark. Just a statement. Something she said to all the old people, I guessed. But why was she saying that to me??!!
I stuttered, "Well, I'm 55, but not older!"
She replied, "Okay. You get the Tuesday Senior discount."
There's a first for everything, and this was the first time I saved 46 cents for being "55-and-older".
Obviously, this is not my path to riches.
On a brighter note, my friend Robin and I walked the trails of Cougar Mountain this afternoon, awash in pale winter sun: a universe of ferns and alders, big-leaf maples and cedars. The stream was high from last night's rain, and spilled over a cliffside onto rocks draped in lush moss, slipped under a lashing of windfall saplings, vanished beyond our vision into second-growth forest.
It's been too long since we've shared this pleasure of walking these trails, but thank god we figured out the world in that hour and a half. There are few secrets left between us, I'm guessing.
And weren't we just in our twenties, when we were certain the world was a knowable entity? I admit a certain sense of thanks for reaching 55 (and not 555, which I just typed but corrected) and realizing that the world needs figuring-out on a regular basis. A daily basis. An hourly basis. Minute to minute. Right now!
I don't know about Robin, but I certainly didn't feel 55 or, for that matter, any age. But then, just what does 55 feel like? I think it feels like this (which was in my head this morning upon waking):