Archive for the '58 Years Old' Category

Fifty-Eight Year Old: George

 

 

Obediently the body levers itself out of bed – wincing from twinges in the arthritic thumbs and the left knee, mildly nauseated by the pylorus in a state of spasm – and shambles naked into the bathroom, where its bladder is emptied and it is weighed; still a bit over150 pounds, in spite of all that toiling at the gym! Then to the mirror.

What it sees there isn’t so much a face as the expression of a predicament. Here’s what it has done to itself, here’s the mess it has somehow managed to get itself into, during its fifty-eight years; expressed in terms of a full harassed stare, a coarsened nose, a mouth dragged down by the corners into a grimace as if at the sourness of its own toxins, cheeks sagging from their anchors of muscle, a throat hanging limp in tiny wrinkled folds. The harassed look is that of a desperately tired swimmer or runner; yet there is no question of stopping. The creature we are watching will struggle on and on until it drops. Not because it is heroic. It can imagine no alternative.

Christopher Isherwood, A Single Man

 

Published in: 58 Years Old | on December 7th, 2011 | No Comments »

Fifty-Eight Year Old: Alice Manfred

 

Waiting for Violet, with less hesitation than before, Alice wondered why it was so. At fifty-eight with no children of her own, and the one she had access to and responsibility for dead, she wondered about the hysteria, the violence, the damnation of pregnancy without marriageability. It had occupied her own parents’ mind completely for as long as she could remember them. They spoke to her firmly but carefully about her body: sitting nasty (legs open); sitting womanish (legs crossed); breathing through her mouth; hands on hips; slumping at table; switching when you walked. The moment she got breasts they were bound and resented, a resentment that increased to outright hatred of her pregnant possibilities and never stopped until she married Louis Manfred, when suddenly it was the opposite. Even before the wedding her parents were murmuring about grandchildren they could see and hold, while at the same time and in turn resenting the tips showing and growing under the chemises of Alice’s younger sisters. Resenting the blood spots, the new hips, the hair. That and the necessity for new clothes. “Oh, Lord, girl!” The frown when the hem could not be taken down further; the waistband refused another stitch. Growing up under that heated control, Alice swore she wouldn’t, but she did, pass it on. She passed it on to her baby sister’s only child. And wondered now would she have done so had her husband lived or stayed or if she had had children of her own. If he had been there, by her side, helping her make decisions, maybe she would not be sitting there waiting for a woman called Violent and thinking war thoughts.

Toni Morrison, Jazz

Published in: 58 Years Old | on December 7th, 2011 | No Comments »