Archive for the '67 Years Old' Category

Sixty-Seven Year Old: Gully Jimson

  

I hadn’t meant to say anything about burning Hickson’s house down. Now, when I say anything like that, about shooting a man or cutting his tripes out, even in joke, I often get angry with him. And anything like bad temper is bad for me. It spoils my equanimity. It blocks up my imagination. It makes me stupid so that I can’t see straight. But luckily, I noticed it in time. Cool off, I said to myself. Don’t get rattled off your centre. Remember that Hickson is an old man. He’s nervous and tired of worry. That’s his trouble, worry. Poor old chap, it’s ruining any happiness he’s got left. He simply don’t know what to do. He sends you to jug and it makes him miserable, and soon as you come out you start on him again. And he’s afraid that if he gives you any money, you’ll come after him more than ever and fairly worry him death. Simply daren’t trust you. He’s wrong, but there it is. That’s his point of view. He daren’t do the right thing and the wrong thing gives him no peace. Poor old chap. It’s an awful problem for a poor old bastard that let down his guts about forty years ago, and has rolled in comfort all his life.

And I was so calm, that when I felt my pulse, it barely touched seventy-eight. Pretty good for a man of sixty-seven.

Joyce Cary, The Horse’s Mouth 

Published in: 67 Years Old | on February 27th, 2012 | No Comments »

Sixty-Seven Year Old: Claudia Hampton

I have seen Cairo since the war years and that time seemed to shimmer as a mirage over the present. The Hiltons and the Sheratons were real enough, the teeming jerry-built dun-coloured traffic-ridden deafening city, but in my head was that other potent place, conjured up by the smell of dung and paraffin, the felt-shod tittuping sound of a donkey’s hooves, kites floating in a Wedgwood blue sky, the baroque gaiety of Arabic script.

The place didn’t look the same but it felt the same; sensations clutched and transformed me. I stood outside some concrete and plate-glass tower-block, picked a handful of eucalyptus leaves from a branch, crushed them in my hand, smelt, and tears came to my eyes. Sixty-seven-year-old Claudia, on a pavement awash with packaged American matrons, crying not in grief but in wonder that nothing is ever lost, that everything can be retrieved, that a lifetime is not linear but instant. That, inside the head, everything happens at once.

Penelope Lively, Moon Tiger 

Published in: 67 Years Old | on February 27th, 2012 | No Comments »