Archive for the '54 Years Old' Category

Fifty-Four Year Old: Charles Halloway


After a pause, both boys exhaled at once.

‘The autumn people,’ said Jim. ‘That’s them. Sure!

‘Then –’ Will swallowed – ‘does that make us… summer people?’

‘Not quite.’ Charles Halloway shook his head. ‘Oh, you’re nearer summer than me. If I was ever a rare fine summer person, that’s long ago. Most of us are half-and-half. The August noon in us works to stave off the November chills. We survive by little Fourth of July wits we’ve stashed away. But there are times when we’re all autumn people.’

‘Not you, Dad!’

‘Not you, Mr Halloway!’

He turned to see both appraising him, paleness next to paleness, hands on knees as if to bolt.

‘It’s a way of speaking. Easy boys. I’m after the facts. Will, do you really know your dad? Shouldn’t you know me, and me you, if it’s going to be us’ns against them’ns?’

‘Hey, yeah,’ breathed Jim. ‘Who are you?’

‘We know who he is, darn it!’ Will protested.

‘Do we?’ said Will’s father. ‘Let’s see. Charles William Halloway. Nothing extraordinary about me except I’m fifty-four, which is always extraordinary to the man inside it. Born in Sweet Water, lived in Chicago, survived in New York, brooded in Detroit, floundered in lots of places, arrived here late, after living in libraries around the country all those years because I liked being alone, liked matching up in books what I’d seen on the roads. Then in the middle of all the running-away, which I called travel, in my thirty-ninth year, your mother fixed me with one glance, been here ever since. Still most comfortable in the library nights, in out of the rain of people. Is this my last stop? Chances are. Why am I here at all? Right now, it seems, to help you.’

He paused and looked at the two boys and their fine young faces.

‘Yes,’ he said. ‘Very late in the game. To help you.’

Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Comes

Published in: 54 Years Old | on November 9th, 2011 | No Comments »

Fifty-Four Year Old: Gaynor



Just when Tod has established our relationship with Irene on a secure footing, the kind of set-up that any sane man would kill for, with her punctual visits and affectionate phone calls, the movies we enjoy together, the fine dining, the peace and safety (the forgiveness) that her presence confers, plus the exquisitely torpid lovemaking which takes place right on the button every couple of months or so, and reaching the stage, now, where I think we can tackle her, gently but firmly, about her untidiness around the house, because it’s best to get these things out in the open, not to let them rankle and fester, and so on – guess what. Tod has started fooling around. Yeah. With Gaynor. One Sunday afternoon we took a trancelike ride in the car out to Roxbury, and parked, and strolled the streets, and there she was, standing at her front door in a blue-dressing gown with her arms folded and with a look of amused reproach on her face. ‘You old bastard,’ she called out. But we got talking to her anyway. I didn’t think anything was up until we went inside. Tod, I wanted to say: don’t do this. The voice of conscience. It speaks in a whisper. Nobody hears it. One thing led to another – actually it was more like the other way round. After the initial lull we now go to Gaynor’s regularly, every other week. It’s called two-timing, or double-lifting, and that’s exactly how it feels. There is integrity-loss. On the other hand it’s a buzz physically, I admit, because our new friend has been around quite a bit longer than Irene. This little honey’s only fifty-four. But I’m upset. To be frank, I’m scandalized. Last week he went out with another one.

Martin Amis, Time’s Arrow

Published in: 54 Years Old | on November 9th, 2011 | 2 Comments »