And how should I presume? And how should I begin?
"I grow old, I grow old,
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled."
Actually I only wear jeans. My good clothes are being held for ransom by our former maid, as any of you know who've troubled to read this saga. But age, age, yes--these last two years have aged me precipitously. I have developed high blood pressure. When we got back to Mexico last December with only a liter of gas and five pesos, my pressure was 190/110. As BP meds are over-the-counter here, I have tried Cardizem and Zestril with varied success, but I know I need to stop drinking altogether as that is my highest factor. When I give up drinking the only drug left to me will be caffeine. Thus I'll end up like all my Nordic relatives in Minnesota, who invariably ask for coffee at cocktail hour. Our own Chaffin family tradition is to get "half in the bag" at cocktail hour and then decide whether to exercise the "full bag" option later, which our father frequently did. To find him early in the morning curled up in a fetal position always seemed so strange--that such a large and loud man could look so much like an infant. But "The child is the father to the man."
The newest delay in our court case was explained to me yesterday: The civil judge did not know what felony to charge, so he passed the case on to the criminal judge, who increased the felony charge to "extortion," which carries a mandatory prison sentence. Now we wait for the maize-grinding wheels of justice to slouch toward Bethlehem. And as good Christians, Kathleen suggested we visit Maria in prison, if we stay that long.
I did give up drinking for five years around age 40. In looking back I don't think my life was any better or worse, though my health was. And I was definitely less social during that time.
To give you an idea of how I've transitioned into old age, I was playing chess with a friend last night and we were comparing blood pressures with different machines. He's a 65-yr-old former dentist who claims his frequent use of herbal smoke keeps his pressure down; I told him he'd smoke it even if he didn't have a BP problem, but that he sure has a good excuse.
If I play chess and compare blood pressure with my friends, can shuffle board and feeding pigeons be far behind? Then diapers would be a convenience, as I wouldn't have to get up at night. When I stop drinking maybe I won't have to--at least for a while. And I, too, would someday like to terrorize shopping aisles with my souped-up electric wheelchair--my, those hot-rodding chairbound geezers are a public menace!
"Thoughts of a dry brain in a dry season,"
Thine if you'll have me,