Finding Damo

The story of a man, his job, two cats and the meaning of success.

Old

I’ve hit that age.

Every time I go to the doctor, she adds something to the list.

Last time I went, she looked at her screen and took a deep breath.

A picture of Khaleesi with a bunny on her shoulder.

“OK, So you have high cholesterol. You have sleep apnea. You have psoriasis. You have hemochromatosis, halitosis, osteoporosis and myxomatosis.”

I might have gotten those last two wrong. Do men get osteoporosis? And I’m not sure even rabbits get myxo now. Don’t they get the Khaleesi virus? Wait, no, that’s Game of Thrones. “BOW DOWN BEFORE THE MOTHER OF BUNNIES!”

What was I saying? Oh yes, old.

Old so that the teens wince every time I walk towards them carrying snacks and pronouns. I heard my daughter saying to her friends: “You have to make allowances for the old people. They come from another time.”

I remember rocking up at home in full goth regalia and an earring to shock my parents. It didn’t work. Anyway.

I mean, they’re right to wince. I’m a middle-aged white guy. They have to be wary! We don’t have a good track record. I feel that desire to judge people and pigeonhole them, welling up inside of me, because of my race and social status.

But I will rise above! I created a list. A sort of BIGOTPATCH(TM) that I can use when I’m feeling especially judgemental.

“Damn you, you…” (quick check) “Audi drivers!”

“I really hate… companies that insist on surveys about their performance!” (I really do. Seriously. “How did we do?” Well, you did the thing I paid you to do. Do you want a medal?)

“Go to hell… right-handed people! You have ruined my life!”

Yeah, you know who you are, with your neat handwriting and your ability to use scissors.

Middle aged is a stupid term. And probably needlessly optimistic.

Nevertheless, I got rid of my life insurance this year. I mean, there’s a kick in the teeth for your Peter Pan complex. You’re basically betting a company that you will die before you pay them more than they will pay you!

Not to mention the effect it has on my wife. We bought life insurance and all of a sudden I was worth more dead than alive! I had to look around nervously when I was at the top of the stairs. I kept tasting almonds… in my almond milk latte, but still. That’s how you would do it. And whenever I leave the seat up on the toilet I catch that look in her eye. That speculative gaze, weighing up my earning potential against the instant influx of cash if she bumped me off.

So I convinced her to ditch the insurance. I didn’t mention that it was because it disagreed with my philosophical stance that I will live forever, or that I was stressed out by the target it painted on my back. Just that it was too expensive.

An image of Halley’s Comet taken in 1986. (Image credit: NASA)

Why did this come up? I was thinking about the possibility that I would see Halley’s Comet again. It swings by every 76 years, and the last time it visited I was in Grade 6. The next time is 2061. I’m not saying it’s impossible – I still have two grandparents well older than the age I need to hit to see that. But I’m nowhere near as fit as they are (see above list).

I need to get better at computer programming. I might yet be able to live on in the cloud. Bring on my robot body!

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