The phone rang. The caller told me she’d forgotten who she was. She felt that she hadn’t been her true self in such a long time that she’d completely lost track of who that was.
She woke up, old, one day only to discover the things she thought were true, were not. She knew she wouldn’t get a second chance and it scared her.
There are harmless little fictions we all subscribe to in order to make life more cinematic. I often think my life is more interesting than it is, filled with hair raising adventures and ill-fated interludes. I am well aware that I’m a matron, past middle age, with wrinkles that are etched at the corners of my mouth from laughing all the time at how funny I am.
I’ve noticed my women friends are of one frame of mind or the other. There are those who are pleasantly surprised to be alive still and don’t mind aging, too much, and those who refuse to look in a mirror and lament the loss of who they were when they were young.
I miss the young me, not because I was any great beauty, but because I was unencumbered and no one was the boss of me. If I didn’t like the way things were going, I packed it all up and took it on the road- that’s right, all three bags off on a new adventure with a fresh start. My brother used to call me the littlest hobo on account of my unimposing stature, just nine inches shy of 6 feet, and proclivity for relocation.
Some of my friends don’t see the value of their geriatric destiny. They spend lots of dollars chasing something that isn’t coming back, ever. They remember who they were but they’re afraid of who they’ll be. I’m a little nervous about who I’ll be but I’ve been nervous with every change or new era in my life. I know what that’s like.
I have been noticing little old ladies for quite a long while. It’s like window shopping for a new me. If I have a cane, it’s going to be sparkly like a magic wand. If I have a wheel chair it has to have a horn (ooga, ooga) and a woven basket. I’m already wearing sensible shoes. If I lose my hair (I hope I don’t) I’m wearing turbans. I swore I’d never wear pants without a zipper but you know I do.
My mother taught me a lot. When she called me that day she taught me, one more time, not to be afraid of my future.