Chapter 13 Turning full circle
By Chris Wilson
When we get old we may have a choice about how we are going to behave but, very often, that is all we can hope to achieve. Mentally we might be ok and actually retain all of our grey cells needed to retain or at least simulate a degree of sanity, but physically we might as well give in. Forget the Botox, the colonic irrigations, the enumerable age reversing creams, and the unlimited face and body lifts that the rich and famous, or infamous, might enjoy. For most of us worn out humans a rather more mundane fate awaits us all.
Most of us simply grow old, and just thank God that at least we can call some of our body parts our own. If this is the case, and looking around it seems to be so, then it might be considered madness that two such individuals, or more, would ever wish to stay together for any period of time. The fact that they do so may seem crazy enough, but even weirder, to some, is the fact they actually wish to do so up until one of them dies, and finally that they actually suffer grief once they are gone.
The sobering reality that this is a relatively common set of occurrences in old age indicates that we are either all mad, or there is some benefit that lies quietly in waiting, so, for the sake of our own sanity let us assume that there must be some kind of a hidden gem that lies submerged within the mire of old age. If this is so we might as well try and find such a gem, regardless of the mess and the smell, as gems, in general, are generally deemed worth looking for.
Lets drop in on Bob and Sue for one last time, maybe they can give us a clue as to what is going on.
Let’s get a couple of things straight before we go any further. Bob and Sue are now old. Mentally they are as sharp as any two pins, albeit slightly forgetful at times, but physically they are not only over the crest of the hill but running, full pelt, down the other side. For many couples this might be of some concern, but, very wisely, neither of them gives a damn. They are too old to care now, and both feel that, at their age, it is payback time. They have paid their way in the world, added to the human race, and quietly conformed to the rules of society that surrounds them; but looking back over the years they have realised that it has nearly been a complete waste of time. Their children are very kind, but now regard them as nears imbecilic simpletons who need to be humoured at all times The few friends that they had are either senile or in the grave, and financially all their plans and preparations seem to be rapidly fading away. So it is that Bob and Sue have come to a decision that they will live with for the rest of their lives.
Their plan really is very simple, and looking back over their life they wonder why they didn’t follow it years ago. From this point onwards they intend to grow old disgracefully, be a huge embarrassment to their children, and stick two fingers up at society whenever and wherever they possibly can.
They know that they will be lectured by their children, shunned by their peers, ticked off by the vicar’s wife, and even asked to leave the bridge club, but for them this is of absolutely no concern. If their children wish to treats them as moronic idiots then they will act out a suitable play in return. Their peers haven’t an unorthodox or independent brain cell between them. The vicar’s wife is an interfering old biddy with a fool of a husband, and as regards playing at the bridge club, what a ridiculous waste of time. This may seem a strange move, as it goes against the common belief that quiet acquiescence and social networking are important in old age, but by acting this way Bob and Sue realise that they can shed a huge bundle of unimportant responsibilities that for so long have been weighing them down. In doing so they realise a dream that has always been just out of reach and that is a dream that many on old couple come to hold very dear indeed.
They will be there for there for Adrian and Danni, and for the children that they have borne in turn, as millions of grandparents have done right back into the mists of time; and they will retain a small group of like minded friends around them, but apart from that, they will step back into the shadows, and simply watch the world go by. Once they were young, and passion and lust ruled the day, but not now, not at their age. Now they have rediscovered the deeper joy of friendship and companionship and, looking ahead, they know, that combined with a slice of childish idiocy, and an occasional bottle of wine, such things will see them through. There will still be rows, and they will never fully understand how each other work or think, but they thanking God that they alive. They have survived, and they are together, so now they raise a glass to the future, whatever that may be.
So it is that at last we have come full circle and as such it seems that out story, and Bob and Sue’s story, must come to an end; but here come the Uggies. I said in the first chapter we would meet them again, and I raised the question whether we had really removed ourselves from those very early days. The mists of time have parted and now they are here again, and standing face to face with Bob and Sue, have things really changed at all. Of course not, and how could it be any different when such interactions represent nature’s oldest and most powerful game.
Come what may many men seem to need women for comfort and solace, and they certainly need at least one of them so that they may pass on their genes. They know they will never truly understand women, and at times most men give up through sheer despair, but guess what, they will carry on loving them just the same.
If you are a woman you know that you can now technically reproduce without men and yet, at times you still find them very useful. Occasionally you love them, even more rarely you want to spend a lifetime beside them, but you do know a couple of things for certain.
Men may be impossible to live with, they certainly are remarkable thick and intuitively dim, but their brute force is useful and more importantly, everyone loves a clown. Sorry guy’s; that’s what women generally think of you, but keep in good cheer. After all, don’t we all love, be with, and laugh, or cry with the clown, and hasn’t such a clown kept us entertained for years? This is not quite the end of adventure, for there is one final twist to Bob and Sue’s story for us to enjoy.
It is now their golden wedding. They are at home and waiting to be picked up by Adrian before going out to a party and a celebratory meal. They sit very quietly, but there is a gleam in both of their eyes. If we look closer though there is a sparkle in their eyes, a wicked smile upon their lips, and they are both clutching something in their hands. He is holding a whoopee cushion and a handful of party poopers, she has a cache of indoor fireworks and a pocket size water pistol, and as they sit waiting they hear the front door opening, and Adrian calling their names. They look at each other, nod, and grin broadly. They are not to going out with a whimper; they intend to go out with a bang!