Sunday, October 5, 2014

All Middle Class and Gray

I took a call at work the other day from someone with whom I had worked about twenty years ago before he moved on to greener pastures (I almost typed acres but then I’d have owed Eddie Albert money). 

Considering his luck had run out he was a surprisingly good sport about having to speak with me and we had a better-than-pleasant conversation which as my family will tell you is about as good as it gets.

It was only after I’d hung up and basked briefly in the warmth of our mutual remembrances that I realized I worked with no one in the building where I have my office or anywhere in any of the other fourteen buildings on what I call a ‘campus’ with whom I could joke about the renewal of old acquaintances as there is no one among the hundreds (and more) of colleagues who has been here as long as I have.   

Egad. Without ever planning it, and most certainly never intending it, I am now that guy. Y’know that old dude who was here way back when. Hey you kids! Get off my lawn! Yep. I remember there was a time when we used to have to wear shoes and pants and learned to swallow or drown while quenching our thirst at the water fountain. Those were the days, Mary Hopkins.

It is possible my memories have been adversely affected (slightly) by repeated experimentation with mushrooms, one of my more youthful indiscretions. Or not. (I meant the adversely part). I took a look in the mirror one workday morning since then and realized the mug in the mirror is now a geezer which means on this side of the looking glass, Alice, we have problems bigger than your hat size.

I decided years ago to trade being functional for decorative only to have more recently discovered that decorative is now a physical impossibility for me. And quite a cross to bear for everyone else. 

Somewhere along the line, the goals and achievements I’d set and desired for myself have been stripped away and I’m left to my own devices in striving to be the only thing utterly beyond my control and nearly the same distance from my comprehension, the last of the steam-powered trains

Thank goodness Mom didn’t name me Thomas.

-bill kenny

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