I do wish people wouldn't project their own fear of poverty, old age, sickness, loneliness and death onto me. (I have enough fears of my own, but I deal with them my own way). After all, Buddha left quite a few tips, after his encounter with these inevitable aspects of life. Check it out, seriously.. Or just try the cartoon version, for the Self in a hurry.
"What'll you do when you get old with no pension?" 'Probably die in humiliating circumstances'
"How can you joke about dying?" 'It gets easier when you turn 50 and lose a few friends.'
"How can you live without money?" 'How can you live with it?'
"I wish you'd stop claiming to be old" (say people almost 20 years younger) - being old isn't even an excuse for having less energy and enthusiasm these days - I suppose I should be dyeing my hair, and going down to the gym every day to 'keep in trim'.
How ghastly - even old age is no longer an acceptable reason to let yourself go, and to stop caring what other people think. Boy, do I envy those old guys sitting around in a taverna in some Greek village, playing backgammon without an ambition in the world; with no sense of adventures left undone; no sense of opportunities missed; feeling no need to compete with the next generation of Adonis's.
So, I will be cutting my hair short (boyish) and shaving off my grey beard for the Spring (pre-puberty look) and rushing around chivvying the hungover youth to 'get up and DO something' (and that's just this morning, when we were supposed to go rowing at 10 a.m. apparently... It's 9.06 right now, and these young things - in their 40s - don't look ready for it yet, after a night of drinking....)
And some young thing in a pub, the other day, told me my beard looked 'distinguished', and asked if I was a 'lecturer'.
'More like a lecherer' chuckled my drinking companion.