Wednesday, May 2, 2007

The Aging Suit

They showed it
on television, on their tour
of a commercial aircraft
factory, the “aging suit”—invented
to show their twenty-
and thirty-something young designers
the joys of growing
old. How the weight
of the once strong upper body
sinks to the waist and gathers
there, morphing
from muscle into that other
stuff; how an unwanted
layer of flesh
attaches everywhere, ballast
to replace the missing cargo
of youthful buoyancy.
The aging suit inhibits
those easy twists and bends
of youth and replicates
the constriction of the joints,
the lethargy that beckons us
invitingly to comfortable
immobility and leaves us
breathless after a few steps.
At least those young folks, enviably,
can take the damn thing off.
There’s others, less fortunate—well,
just older—like myself,
who are stuck with it
for life. It won’t come off,
no matter how we wriggle.
It's real to me.
I feel my aging suit, every
minute of every single day.
Come to think of it,
why don’t they design,
for men, at least, the “aging
jock strap”—the one
that induces unresponsiveness
and boredom, causing
that obstinate refusal
to stand up and be counted
when it matters—not to mention
sudden, humiliating collapse,
on stage, in mid-performance.
Young folks
could surely learn from that.
Not to forget, of course,
the ever popular woolly
skull cap in which the brain
will nod and wander hopelessly
when asked to concentrate
and which pea-soups the head
in fog, forever wandering
pointlessly between nostalgia
and vague anxieties
about the unforeseen
and unforeseeable. Next up,
perhaps, the “death suit.”
We could all benefit
from trying that one on.


Carly said...

Budda Boy: a jokingly derrogatory term for trendy-Western-Christian-turned-Buddhist-wannabe-un-monk-like-semi-practitioner, often identified by a cantankerous attitude, tatoos, and a shaved head, fully-integrated with technology, found in the upper regions of California and the internet.

PK said...