Monday, December 14, 2009

When I'm Eighty-Four

Okay, this is an example of the zeitgeist at work in my life.

I just awoke from a dream where I was playing one-on-one basketball with Charles Barkley. Like I know who he is, but there you go. It was a dream. He had a normal ball, a normal goal, but my "ball" was shaped in the form of a soft black oblong with a handle at one end, and my basket was about twice as high. When I would attempt to throw my "ball" up, it would get stuck. Meanwhile, he was cleaning my clock with all his scores. I know, in regular one-on-one there's only one ball. It was my dream so you have to stay out of it.

Then I awoke to read in Ben Schott's column in the New York Times a gradient of National Social Life, Health and Aging Project for Americans aged 57-84, and the section on Difficulties in Daily Living caught me eye, providing me the interpretation for my (silly) dream.

Getting older is like they change the rules for a simple pick-up game: the shape of the ball, the opponent, the goal--they all change, and as an older person you know you can't compete. At that point you can either walk off the court, or challenge Charles Barkley to a game where you know you can beat him, say, a Spelling Bee or something. I think the point is to stay in some game, somewhere, and to keep at it.

I guess.

By the way, in my dream? The ref was just as baffled as I was, kept shaking his head as he called foul after foul on the The Round Mound of Rebound (one of Barkley's nicknames). I woke up tired, as I do after such dreams. But this morning I've got my walking clothes on and am heading out the door today, trying to get back in the game.

P.S. Click on the image to go to complete chart.

1 comment:

Artax said...

Yeah, they change the rules on pregnant women, too. Once during those amazing nine months, when trying to crawl into my car around the bad back pain, lack of balance, swollen ankles, and the nausea, I realized that would be exactly how I would feel at age 75 and/or while undergoing chemo. Not looking forward to it, but at least I feel forewarned.