She Walks Out the Door
I am not frail. I go to a gym. I lift weights. I walk pretty fast. I carry in the groceries when my wife, Deborah, comes back from the market. We live in a second-floor apartment, so the grocery carrying is harder than it sounds. I haven't lost my hair.
All that age-denying ego puffery aside, I turned 65 yesterday, a little after 7 p.m.
And my wife gave me some fancy hot sauce, some craft beer, a rechargeable beard trimmer and some socks with Sherlock Holmes' profile woven into the fabric. We went out for Mexican food.
I'm still working, but just a couple of hours a day, and I go to work much later than she does, and I sit on the couch in a robe, and I watch my wife leave for work at about 8:30 a.m. She's 12 years younger than I am, small, blonde, smart, energetic, and fond of makeup and fashion.
"Have a good day," she says as she closes the door behind her.
And I sit on the couch in my pajamas, and I hear the wall clock tick in the next room, and I watch television to catch up on the terrible news from everywhere, and I drink coffee.
My cat Jack jumps up on the couch and rubs his small, chisel-shaped head against my hand, and I pet him, and he purrs. I've got three hours until I dress and leave for work.
"You're a young 64," Deborah said to me sometime last year, and I lived on that compliment for six weeks.
"Hell," I thought. "It's not that bad. She thinks I'm a young 64."
And I'd swagger a little, like some prime-y, roosterish boy.