An Elderly Man’s Fairy Tale

A gaggle of elderly men shuffles past the coffee shop lead by their Pekingese pups.  One is the height of a light pole, yet it’s potbelly, bellybutton, heart attack as far as the eye can see.  Another sucks food from his teeth, his reddened cheeks inflating and deflating beneath sporadic patches of a white whisker facescape.

Too eager for hydration, the first dumps an icy drink onto his tonsils, then rolls over his potbelly and gasps for air.  The second laughs and pounds his back heartily, then mirrors his movements with consumptive coughs.  Then a third man nudges around the corner, peering over his walker like a beady-eyed gunner into the South Pacific night.  He steers his ship toward a bike rack, straightens suddenly, and belches into the trees.

“To the beach!” he cries.  And I wonder what it must be like to be old.

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