My lips are blistered and my mind is scrambled with thoughts of my many years of living. I no longer remember things as thought they happened yesterday. The things I remember the most are feelings or behaviors of my youth. I remember the wrongs I committed, there were many. They were wrongs against other people, my disregard for the feelings of others, my sarcastic bites, the lack of reasonable thought for friends and family. Most of all I remember my narcissistic apathy and how I impressed no one, no one.

Now the winds of self deprecation have wrinkled my skin, torn at my ego, thrown me the bone of death, and sank me into a tank of depression. As a kid I remember seeing older people hunched over, staring at the sidewalk, and impervious to those around them. Say hello to many and receive only a churl’s reply. Now I understand the world as sometimes seen through the eyes of the aged. The fact that you split a fingernail is non essential information. Your son’s soccer practice is too much brain exercise. And the fact that your daughter finally got an A+ in English is like a rash on your inner thighs. Perhaps I exaggerate, but for anyone over seventy aches and pains take precedence.

Depression claws at the dirt outside my window demanding that I open up and let it into my life. I have before and it always results in a breakdown. Very shrewd and convincing snake this emotion whispering reasons for death, begging you to strap a rope around your neck and climb a chair. “Why not,” it says, “no one gives a shit. No one thinks you’re worth a shit.” Sometimes I believe this dark creature. After all, who listens to an old man? Who will miss the old guy hardly anyone knows?

So you have life by the ass? You don’t. After you have learned the dishonesty of friendship, the misrepresentation of politics, cynicism of love, and the pain of dying, you will understand the opposite is true. Life has you by the ass and will never release its hold.

I’m being negative you say, perhaps. Live, grow, love, and wait. I dare you.