I am a clinical social worker. This person isn’t me. She can be any of us. We never know what the future holds. I fear old age more than I fear a terrorist attack–really. Because I know how devestating it could be. I hope it changes; but we have to change society to achieve that. I am planning on expanding this. I had a compelling need to write this; please come back tomorrow for something less depressing!
She sits in a crowded party room and smiles and laughs on cue. Nobody notices her hands slightly trembling; nobody notices the intensity in her violet eyes.
She sits a part from the people she came with at a table with some other old people. People who have given up on this world and are waiting for the next. She can’t listen to their conversation. It’s stupid talk about senior centers and lunches served there. She has never been to one; won’t ever go. She looks around the room greedily; at all the younger people who are laughing and animated. She wants to be with them but…
No room at all the other tables. She understands; of course she does. She is different than they are; complex and convaluted. Once she was the most beautiful; once she had potential.
But she has failed in her marriages; failed in her careers; failed in reproduction. She is old now; older than anybody else there. They bring her food and she accepts it though she can’t stand looking at it.
Her only solace is the knowledge that one day they too will be at her table; if they make it that far. Old age; it’s supposed to be better than the alternative. But it’s really not. No way.