The difference an age makes


tiara2You’re in your early 20’s sitting with friends, having lunch in a gastro pub somewhere along the Thames River. Swans are idling by. The chardonnay is flowing. You’re in the middle of a funny story. You have everyone’s attention. A commotion erupts from just outside your line of sight. You try to continue, but the darting eyes tell you you’ve lost them. You turn to see what has interrupted your moment. It’s a middle-aged man, careening from table to table, moaning out the lyrics to ‘The Wind Beneath my Wings’. He’s smartly dressed in an indigo business suit. His hair is awry. He stinks of gin and cigarettes. He gets to the line ‘I can fly higher than an eagle’ and stumbles to the ground, legs splayed open across two over-turned chairs. Gasps of horror all round. He pulls himself up and lurches towards your table. Everyone recoils, including you. The discomfort is painful.

WHY? BECAUSE YOU RECOGNIZE YOURSELF IN HIM.

A waiter arrives and escorts him out of the building. Everyone sighs with relief. You continue your funny story….

tiara2You’re in your mid-40s sitting with friends, having lunch in a gastro pub, somewhere along the Thames River. Swans are idling by. The chardonnay is flowing. You’re in the middle of a funny story. You have everyone’s attention. A commotion errupts from just out of sight line. You try to continue, but the darting eyes tell you you’ve lost them. You turn to see what has interrupted your moment. It’s a middle-aged man, careening from table to table, moaning out the lyrics to ‘The Wind Beneath my Wings’. He’s smartly dressed in a navy business suit. His hair is awry. He stinks of gin and cigarettes. He gets to the line ‘I can fly higher than an eagle’ and stumbles to the ground, legs splayed open across two over-turned chairs. Gasps of horror all round. He pulls himself up and lurches towards your table.

You get up and ask him if he’d like a drink. He says, yes, and you escort him to the bar. You sit him down and order coffee for two. Then you ask him where he lives and call him a cab. You wait with him while he tells you you’re beautiful and sings the rest of the song. You pay the cab driver and ask him to make sure he gets home okay. You never get to finish your funny story. But it’s okay.

WHY? BECAUSE YOU RECOGNIZE YOURSELF IN HIM.

About subincontinentia

writer and eternal optimist
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1 Response to The difference an age makes

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