I’ve been getting older for awhile now. The aging thing, I figure, started around the time I was six years old, though truthfully it might have started at an earlier age. (But since this is my account of the story, we’ll agree that it starts on my sixth birthday, the one where I’m all dressed up in Roy Rogers regalia, blowing out candles on an ice cream cake and wishing for a birthday pony that never showed up.)
For years, my aging rolled along in more or less an orderly fashion and at fairly comfortable pace. I paid scant attention to it except for birthdays, of course (and the damn ponies that still never came.) Although I was never COMPLETELY comfortable with the concept of slow but relentless aging, I figured there was nothing I could do about it. Truth be told however, I noticed that as I came ‘of age’ there were, in fact, fringe benefits that went along with getting older. For example, as I got to the age of majority, money, liquor, morally challenged women and general inequity — what the nuns at Catholic school had called ‘the occasions of sin’– were more readily available.
Around age sixty, the pace of ‘my aging’ picked up. ‘Things’ began to get dicey. For one thing, various body parts began to rebel and play hurtful tricks on their owner. One moment a body part –say, an elbow, a knee, a toe joint is performing as expected. The next moment — for no apparent (or even medical reason), that same body part starts to act out and misbehave. Translation: it begins to hurt like a bastard!
I’m convinced that my various parts are akin to rebellious teens: they have minds of their own and they behave any old way they want. “What are ya gonna do about it old man,” they taunt. They even dare me to raise a hand to them…if I can even raise a hand as sometimes it’s my hand or my arm that’s hurtin’ ‘like a sonovabitch.’
The invariably maddening things about all this is that when the pain persists and I finally take said part to see a doctor, once we’re in the examining room, it suddenly behaves like a perfect gentleman. Miraculously, nothing is wrong with the little so and so! This kind of thing chaps my hide…which is yet another body part now hurting. This is no doubt my body’s way of saying “no matter what, Cantrell, we body parts are going to have the last word in any and all disputes between us.” ( It’s infuriating and I am pretty sure I’ve now discovered why some people start drinking heavily after they achieve “seniority”!)
Last Friday, it’s my eyes who were the pranksters. This caper of theirs took place over a few seconds, and even though I’m the only one who knew about it, it was embarrassing.
The episiode takes place when I am walking down the drive-way approaching the house around six o’clock. I am trying to watch where I’m walking and at the same time get the latest news from my Android device. Out of the corner of one eye, I see the headlines:
“OBAMA TO NOMINATE LORETTA LYNN AS ATTORNEY GENERAL”
I could hardly believe the exchange between my eyes and my brain.
Brain: “What I just saw can’t possibly be true.”
Eyes: “And why not!? We’re just reportin’ what we saw.”
Eyes: “We thought you loved Obama.”
Brain: “Listen, I do love Obama, but if he’s….if he’s…. Well if Loretta Lynn is the new AG-nominee it just means he’s lost his ever lovin’ mind dammit. The Republicans have finally driven him looney-toons.” I know Loretta is from Butcher Holler, Kentucky and all and maybe Obama is trying to be a little conciliatory towards Mitch McConnell but this is ridiculous.
Eyes: “Don’t you dare talk about Obama that way.”
Brain: “She’s a singer for godsakes, the Queen of Country Music and the “Coal Miner”s Daughter”, but she’s not even a lawyer for cryin’ out loud.”
Eyes: “Well, we’ve never actually heard her sing, that’s a job for one of your other parts but from what we can see, Loretta can do anything.
Brain: “She’s eighty-something years old and she, Willie Nelson and Hank Williams are my favorite country singers… but good grief, she ain’t…”
Eyes: “GOTCHA! We fooled you again, you stupid idiot! It’s Loretta Lynch – L-Y-N-C-H -from New York that Obama is going to nominate as Attorney General. You’re such a sucker…
Brain: “Gawd, you guys…you eyes…are always playin’ tricks on me. I wish you’d stop horsin’ around. It’s not funny.”
Eyes: “Sure it is, Will’s Brain. Sure it is. Lighten up. Now keep us eyes focused on where we’re all going…before you trip and hurt all of us body parts.”
Brain: “Ok. Alright.”
Eyes: “Now that’s the spirit. That’s more like the Will’s Brain we know and love.”
Brain:“Ouch! For some strange reason, just felt a twinge of pain in my butt. Hell, that’s never happened before…
MORAL: Stupid body parts tricks can really be a pain in the ass.
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: If you’re one of these younger readers who is anxiously trying to read between the lines for hopeful signs that things get better and easier as you get older, you should note that I’m still waiting on the damn birthday pony.
Loretta Lynn Loretta Lynch