Old Age

It Was There in the Past

It was there in the past
Like a static barn
With its aching wood
Rippling through
The seasons.

Forgotten,
Then a memory
Of cemetery walks
And tulips bending
In the spring sun.

Youth walking firmly
On anointed ground,
Not arrogance, exactly,
But pliant sails
Pulling things forgotten
Into the steady stream
Of what we once knew
To be true.

More than true.

Share

Marriage and the Family, Nurture or Torture?

 

The Constitutional Precedents For Marriage Equality

The recent Supreme Court decision, Obergefell, et al v Hodges, gave same-sex couples the Constitutional right to marry in the United States.

In his majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy cites the many Supreme Court decisions that expanded the inclusiveness of marriage to a wider variety of same-sex couples and individuals—prisoners, interracial couples, and men behind in their child support payments—all of whom sought the right to marry, not because of their unique status, but, as Judge Kennedy makes eminently clear, because of the “right to marry in its comprehensive sense.”

Kennedy also cited decisions protecting the rights of homosexuals.

These two legal approaches were the guiding forces in leading the majority opinion to end the last legal barrier to “equal protection” and “due process” for same-sex “intimacy”—- all state laws prohibiting same-sex marriages. In addition, states will be Constitutionally compelled to honor all marriage licenses given out-of-state.

Aside from the legal and Constitutional issues framing the majority opinion, Justice Kennedy included in his statements a wide array of assumptions about marriage. Continue reading

Share

“The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock”

“I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,” says T S Eliot’s Prufrock.

He goes on to say that he sees the “Eternal Footman” holding his coat, snickering, suggesting that even the personified death figure would find Prufrock an amusing irrelevancy.

Later on, he admits that he is “no Prince Hamlet,” but merely “an attendant lord….Deferential, glad to be of use.”

What are we to make of Prufrock’s draw? Why do English teachers seem to love this poem? Why are we attracted to a guy whose life is without drama or vitality? A guy who seems to huddle next to the inconsequential; to revel in a world of what-might-have-beens; or to languish in a life that has never been completely or satisfactorily consummated. Continue reading

Share

Good News

I recently was told that I don’t have to return for another colonoscopy for ten years.

Sounds like good news, right?

Well, my friends, human nature, being what it is, we can always find some chip in a dining room table, some flaw in otherwise perfect facial skin.

My immediate thought was simply, “Jesus, I’ve got ten years to sweat this thing out. Anything can happen in those ten years. I could get cancer. Then what? I’ll have to get chemo. All my hair is going to fall out. I’ll have to make out a living will. How will I be able to shit? What kinds of foods am I going to be forced to eat? Who’s going to take care of me?” Continue reading

Share

Sex and the Old Guy

(I dedicate this Blog Post to Joan Rivers, the comedic master of the irreverent, the bawdy, the unseemly. RIP, Joan)

I am divorced. I’ve had many post-divorce and diverse relationships. I have also had a few live-ins. Some time ago, I just stopped having long-term relationships. I remain single.

That’s about it, for now, anyway.

Mind you, I’m a post-Social Security guy. I was born the year of Pearl Harbor (Google it). I grew up believing Bing Crosby should have been a priest; that a field of bushes were the only private places where mom and dad would never find me and my friends touching each other when we were kids; that a lay-away wasn’t about sex; that “girly magazines” had a reason for being. Continue reading

Share

Or Not To Be

I have been designed for death,
Cordially aligned to destiny,
Tempering my heated wanderings,
These lungs still full of fresh air,
The treads of my pumping heart
Firm against your warm back.

One lane still open
To a slumbering apple,
An unweeded garden,
A tired August rose
An ample sun
Dipping its spotted arms
Into the sleeves of the
Cool, patient night.

 

Share

The Eyes Have It

Several weeks ago, I was informed by my ophthalmologist that the cataract in my left eye had reached London-fog level. “We’ll remove the other cataract in a month,” he said.

I knew I was at a critical point with my vision. I could read most of the large signs as long as they had polar-bear-size white letters and arrows on dark green backgrounds. When the city decided that small flower-lined islands would beautify one of our major streets, I found myself cursing at their invisibility when I made left turns at night, barely shaving the blunt edges of the raised islands as I turned into the right lanes.

On rainy nights, I would squint at the front windshield trying to see through the patches of unstreaked clarity. The wipers would do their bump and grind, making vain attempts to clear away the glaze of film built up from the oil vapors unobtrusively spewing out of exhaust pipes at urban intersections. Continue reading

Share

Senior-Citizen Fear, the Center Cannot Hold

Panic Dreams

I have these recurring variations of the same dream. I am running down a school corridor, desperately trying to find my next class or I am in front of a class that is paying no attention to me. In yet another panic-dream, I am a substitute teacher in a Chemistry class (I was an English teacher).

And then there’s the dream where I constantly punch in the wrong phone number of someone I am frantically trying to call or I am darting through mazes of streets trying to find a relative’s apartment. Continue reading

Share