Old Men Stories
Ron and Jack sat in two armchairs, facing each other, surrounded by their clinical students. Both were feeling expansive, the wine spoke to them and they were relaxed. Ron, the younger of the two, was 68. Jack, with his full head of silver hair and copious laugh lines, was 73. The students ranged in age from 23 to 34. The two old men shook their heads at the beauty and folly of being surrounded by so much youth.
Ron began. “You think you feel old at 30? Let me tell you how you know that you are truly old. I was standing in line at the movie the other day with my daughter– my wife and her husband were parking the car. When I got up to the cash register, I told the woman, ‘Four tickets please,’ before I realized that I counted as a senior citizen, and could get the senior citizen discount. You get that now, at what, sixty-two?”
“Sixty-five I think,” Jack corrected.
Ron ignored him. “So, I amended, I said, ‘I think I count as for the senior citizen discount now,’ and I started to pull out my license. She shook her head and said, ‘I know, I put in the discount as soon as you walked up!’”
The students nervously started to laugh.
“Not only have I stopped getting carded for booze, but they won’t even check to see if I am under sixty-two! And that is how you know you are old.”
Jack raised his eyebrow in disbelief at his friend. “You think that makes you feel old? You ain’t heard nothing yet.
“I was standing on a bus, minding my own business, holding on to one of those straps hanging from the ceiling. Suddenly I noticed a young woman. And was she attractive! Long blond hair, curling to her waist, high heels, a real sharp little outfit, one of those go and get ‘em types.”
His hands traced the hourglass shape of an imaginary woman in midair. The male students grinned and the female students eyed him in bemusement, sighed, and drank more wine.
Jack grinned and winked. “Next thing I know, she made eye contact with me. Her deep brown eyes stared into mine, and for a moment, I thought, ‘Oh my god, she wants me.’ She opened her perfect mouth to speak. My hand got sweaty around the strap, I wondered about what my wife would think. And then she said to me, her voice like an angel’s:
‘Hello, sir, are you tired? Do you want my seat?’
And she got up and before I knew it, I was sitting down on the goddamn bus like some kind of invalid, staring at her skirt as she stood in front of me!”
Peals of laughter now, from all. Ron wiped his eyes under his glasses. “I can just picture it! ‘Hello sir…’”
Jack started to laugh too. “And that, my friend, is how you know you are old.”
“Isn’t that the truth,” agreed Ron, draining his glass.