Don’t Let The Old Man In….

 

I didn’t recognize the face in the mirror.  It sorta looks like me.  Five in the morning is not the best time to look into the mirror but at my age, it’s better than seeing myself in the harsh sunlight.  The face wasn’t “the brown-eyed handsome man” that Chuck Berry sang about sixty-one years ago.  This face is cut by crevasses covered by a wild beard.  The brown eyes sit above “steamer trunks,” not bags.  What hair there is, is now more silver than brown…as is a beard that was once redder than white.  My eyes are still brown and, in my mind, behind those eyes, somewhere, is a young, “brown-eyed handsome man.”

I’m looking down the barrel at another birthday.  Can you tell?  One month from today.  Another year older.  The grim reaper another year closer.  Can it be another year already?  As I look back…into the mirror and the old gentleman looking back at me, I realize a time versus age graph would show a steeper line after the age of fifty than before.  Time flies when you are having fun…and growing old.  Yes, I know there is another alternative.

Looking back into the mirror I realize, “that old geezer wants to get at me.”  He wants to be me…or rather, he wants me to be him.  I refuse to invite him to do so.

I have always been a people watcher…particularly attractive female people, a kink in my sterling armor.  Recently I’ve begun to look at older people I know, OLD people my age.  I always think, “I don’t look that old do I?”  I even asked my best friend Hawk, “Do we look that old?”  He said no…but then he’s just a year younger than me.  Would he lie?

I hear a tap, tap, tap.  Is it the hot water line that needs to be tightened or the old man in the mirror?  He wants me to invite him in.  No, no, no!  I’m going to keep dancing badly until I die…even if it is dancing from the seat of a chair.  Maybe I won’t be able to run, but then I’ll walk, or I’ll crawl or do invisible snow angels in the middle of the floor….  Too many people die because they are afraid to live.  I will not invite that old coot in.

I awoke to the groans my father made, so many years ago…except they are coming from me.  Snap, crackle, pop go my joints as I try to get out of bed.  Once I get moving I do okay.  Is that the lesson from my ruminations this morning?

The “brown eyed handsome man” in my head thinks he can still do anything.  I’m listening to him.  I’m going to keep doing my thing…just a bit more slowly.  Like a wind-up toy, the spring will wind down or break sometimes, but sometime could be a long way off.

I just learned that a friend’s cancer has returned and invaded his esophagus. He has battled cancer for years, battled it with a joyous heart and a cheerful and exuberant attitude.   I hope and pray he is able to beat it but the cards are stacked against him. He has never let the old man in…for eighty-five years.

A piano player, he always reminded me of Hoagy Carmichael’s Cricket in “To Have and Have Not.”  I’ll bet Charlie will be playing the piano, cracking jokes, dancing or doing snow angels on the floor until they carry him out. I’ll miss him when he goes but I won’t mourn for him because he kept the old man out of his life.  Maybe I can get him to play “Am I Blue” one more time.

Yessir!  I’m going to be like Charlie.  I will never let that old man I see in the mirror in.

Video credit: YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9C1vJ2Z8aI0

Photo credit:  Hoagy Carmichael and  Lauren Bacall                    https://indianapublicmedia.org/afterglow/rainbow-hits-ground-hoagy-carmichael-hollywood/

Don Miller’s writer’s page can be found at https://www.amazon.com/Don-Miller/e/B018IT38GM

Don Miller, writing as Kena Christenson, may be found at https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B07B6BDD19

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10 thoughts on “Don’t Let The Old Man In….

  1. I’m always complaining to my better-half that we have far too many mirrors in our house!!
    Loved seeing and hearing Hoagy Carmichael again – so few these days even realize what he did for music!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mirrors are hardly anyone’s friend. When you’re a kid, you want to look older, and when you’re older you start criticizing yourself. The middle years were my worst thoughts about my reflections, but now I think, I wasn’t bad!

    Loved seeing ž Hoagie, always liked him. I sometimes think those old musicians should be reborn to entertain us again. I think Humphrey Bogart said that the To Have Have Not movie was his least favorite. Oh well, I liked them all. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m sure Hawk wouldn’t lie about that! 😉

    GREAT post!

    I always have similar thoughts around my birthday every September. Then the thoughts pass. I let the child within me take over again…the child who is still having fun, still laughing at things mature people don’t laugh at, still pulling fun pranks, still dancing, and etc. 😛 😀

    None of us are old, Don….we are just getting more well-seasoned! And that’s a good thing! 🙂

    I’m sorry to hear about your friend and the return of his cancer. 😦 I wish I could give him a hug. I’ve been dealing with cancer for a little less than 3 years now and I’m trying to keep my attitude positive, my sillyness in the forefront, and my gratitude strong! When I’m having a rare rough day, I’ll think of your friend and that will help me push through! 🙂

    (((HUGS))) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve had so many friends who have had some form of cancer. I had some skin cancers removed myself. I believe attitude is the key. Once you get over the shock and the “Why me?” I would guess that it would come down to the attitude of I’m going to do my best to live the time I have left because none of us know when it is going to run out. I hope your bad days continue to be rare.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve had so many friends who have had some form of cancer. I had some skin cancers removed myself. I believe attitude is the key. Once you get over the shock and the “Why me?” I would guess that it would come down to the attitude of I’m going to do my best to live the time I have left because none of us know when it is going to run out. I hope your bad days continue to be rare.

      Liked by 1 person

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