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FEATURE

Old? Me? The Politics of Aging





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Last Tuesday when I went to bed I was just thirty three years old. Imagine my astonishment when I woke up Wednesday morning to find myself seventy-seven. I guess we all live out an episode of The Twilight Zone as we get older, finding ourselves adrift in that strange and mysterious land of the aging and not remembering how we arrived there. I've got two sons, one in his mid thirties; the other in his forties, who are now older than I feel myself to be today and I'm no Benjamin Button. It wasn't always this way. More than a decade ago I was diagnosed with a metastasized cancer. I figured that was the end. But with the help of some great doctors, good treatment, and a magnificent wife, I managed to live out the past decade in reasonable health and comfort; a life in remission which is all anyone really has; grateful to have the past ten years to be with my family and do my work writing plays, adding chapters to my never-ending memoir, seeing the birth of grand-children, and dropping some grouchy opinions here and on the Huffington Post from time to time.

Since I did all my serious thinking about death long ago I give it very little thought these days. Sure, I'm going to die, probably sooner than later, but that won't keep me from living every day that's left to me to its limit, sometimes with generosity and more often with an old guy's prerogative to snarl at the stupidity and cruelty he sees. Funny, I don't mind being considered an old man, but in the politics of aging I'll be damned if I let anyone call me a senior citizen. Continued...


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