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Old Age, mostly

16 Jan

I think I’m going to need to go to the Optomotrist soon. This afternoon, I sat down and did the typing-up/second-draft of the long short story I’d handwritten a week ago. It was just about 6,000 words long.

(I’d like to note, with more than a measure of pride, that it’s the longest, best-structured, most-coherent short story I’ve written in feckin’ years. Even if the story turns out to be crap, I’m proud of that.)

Anyway, by the end of it, maybe an hour later, I had strained eyes and a headache that was heading toward a migraine. Hmpf.

Well, once dinner and pills take away the head-pains, I’ll get back to work. I’m supremely grumpy that being busy this week has kept me from doing the next SF Signal thing (next is a review, and then is an article, for the interested). And then I’ve got a pretty-short story to write called “Dirty Window.” And then, while that one is sitting around mouldering, waiting for a type-up/second-draft, I’ll move on to the next longer short story.

You know, it’s interesting, but something I think about off and on is Old Age, and How Not to Die.

Exciting stuff, right?

I look at people like Smilin’ Stan Lee (EXCELSIOR!), or William Shatner, and I’m really hugely inspired by them. According to Wikipedia, William Shatner is 78 years old. And Stan Lee is 87 years old.

They both look good. They’re both doing quite a lot of stuff, they’re healthy and active and busy busy busy and, in more ways than one…young.

What fascinates me is, I’ve known people who were younger than them, who just sort of fade away and die. My wife’s grandmother, for example, passed away last year. She was in her seventies somewhere, but she looked like she was well over a hundred years old. Lost her sight, her health, her mind, and so forth. You can probably think of your own examples, similar to that woman, or to Stan Lee.

Why does that happen? That’s what fascinates me.

I think there’s no huge mystery about it. I think it’s just being active and busy and ALIVE. My wife’s grandmother did very little, had no particular interests. She mostly amassed money, then aged, then died.

By contrast, if you look at Shatner, or Stan Lee…they’re writing, and doing TV shows and interviews and Twittering and lots of other stuff. William Shatner has a whole second career involving horses. Lots of people, past fifty, wouldn’t even get on a horse.

Some people live, I think, and some people linger. At any age. And I think you and I both know which one will keep you alive and looking triffic the longest.

That’s why I find them inspirational. I’d like to be eighty-seven years old and still vital and interesting and engaged and doing stuff. Even if I’m not particularly a party person, I would like to, come ninety years old, still be interested and capable of going to a party.

And that is my riveting thought for the night. Now I, and my migraine, are going to have some tea (black tea with cinammon, I think) and then send a long short story to some people, and then, well, we’ll see where the night takes me, won’t we?

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Posted by on January 16, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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