Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Nature of Things to Come

Last night, I was trapped on the phone with a sweet old man who, for 45 minutes, bullshat about his trucks and his ranches and fishing and camping and crap. He'd been alive since the Great Depression and was expecting a new Great Depression any minute, so naturally, he had a lot to talk about. Despite my disinterest in his old-man ramblings, I understand why he kept me on for so long. He was bored, maybe lonely, and probably without many people to talk to, so he adhered to the first polite uh-huhs and mmm-hmms he heard from me. Perhaps I'm wrong, but the selfish point is that I'm bored, lonely, and without many people to talk to now. What the hell am I going to do when I'm 150 years old?
It seems we confuse desperation in old people for senility. This guy didn't seem to be lacking any facilities, but I'm sure he didn't have much social fulfillment when he was a young man on the California mountains. Was his endless blathering the pinnacle of his alienation? Had he simply abandoned the self-conscientiousness that keep so many of us in quiet despair? Was I just the next passerby he'd grabbed by the shoulders to shout, "Look at me!"
I'll understand one day, I suppose, but it seems like such a lonely place to be. I hope I'm never there.

9 comments:

Chrissy said...

No worries. Armageddon is coming so the chance of you living to 150 are slim to none.

There. Don't you feel better now?

You're welcome..

C. Andres Alderete said...

You're right. In my moment of weakness, I forgot about 2012. If it is Armageddon, that probably means I'm going to Hell after all.

Chris said...

This is something I learned from my grandmother: the elderly are lonely. It doesn't seem obvious till you think about it for even a second. So now, whenever I see an old person in the store, at the mall, anywhere, I try to strike up a brief (and sometimes it ends up being NOT so brief) conversation. Takes very little time and effort ("How's your day going?" may take care of it), but it literally makes their day.

Aside from the crotchety old bastards that just tell you to F*** off. But those guys are few and far between.

Chrissy said...

Right. And we'll all be in Hell together so you won't be lonely.

Chris, That's very true..

C. Andres Alderete said...

Chris, I don't know what's worse: being crotchety or lonely. They're both in a state of unhappiness.

Chrissy, Book club in Hell? We should probably arrange this now.

Anonymous said...

I guess I should stop talking to you, I know I am going to heaven; I don't want to miss you up there. Eunnie

Bash said...

That old man probably doesn't have texting capabilities on his phone like you... just saying.

Chris said...

Book club in hell? What a great idea:

HELL'S LIBRARY
The Scarlet Letter
Red Badge of Courage
Beowulf
Inferno (Dante Alighieri) - no brainer
The complete works of Danielle Steel

C. Andres Alderete said...

I guess if we're talking eternal damnation here, Danielle Steel would be unusual punishment.

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