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Old
Author: Shiloh

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Yes, I suppose that it’s pretty much the way it is…
I have to step back and take a good look,
then admit to myself that, yes,
I’m an old fool.
Now.
I don’t feel old,
but I am.
Older than how old Old was,
back when I was a kid,
and I couldn’t even come close
to imagining how old Old was.
Old was more than 25, or 30 years,
maybe even older than 40 years?
40? Unthinkable.
Hard to imagine 40.
That was a long time.
A long, long time.
I think I bypassed growing up,
somewhere along the way,
stepped off the beaten pathway,
found my own trail,
did some squirrelly shit.
But I was young then,
so cut me some slack.
I will, if you will.
Then maybe I can feel a little better
about things, about myself,
about Life.
Hell, I’m still trying to learn
about Old…
what the hell is Old?
How much is Old?
I have learned that Old
is fairly expensive.
You can’t return it,
no refunds,
and no guarantee, either.
You just get in,
lean back,
and it takes you down the road,
and you learn,
if you pay attention,
about the bumps and the chuckholes,
the bad curves,
the storms along the way,
the gutters and the dreams
that float in them…
It isn’t, and wasn’t,
all that pleasant a journey.
Sometimes it was past open meadows,
or fields of wildflowers,
here and there a playground
or a small pond,
maybe an old quarry full of water,
kids swinging out on the end of a rope,
smiles and laughter,
with not a care in the world…
Yet.
I had been there.
I knew.
They would learn, too.
It’s all part of it.
Old.
The lesson can’t be found in a classroom,
not written on a blackboard,
not spoken of by a professor
or any sort of wise man.
A true wise man
would keep his mouth shut about it,
anyway.
And the wise man would have learned
while on the way,
and then he would be the wise man.
Maybe not THE wise man,
but someone who had learned.
And all he could do,
all he can do,
is watch from the side,
as others took the ride,
as others learned.
It’s a rough series of lessons.
The only failing grade
is one you give yourself,
when the test is over.
That happens eventually,
when you reach Old.
That usually happens too early.
Much too early.
Much too early.

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