I never thought I would live to be 63. I never thought I would live to be 50. I never thought my body could take so many years in that factory. Or my mind and emotion the life I lived. Yet here I am waking up with cramps and pains all over my body. My mind seems at times more lucid than ever. I go into work and try not to shuffle and hunch when I walk. “Stand up straight!” I yell at myself. Then mutter, “have some dignity”. 

There was a science fiction horror fantasy TV program in my youth titled, THE TWILIGHT ZONE. I used-to often feel a sense of dread as I watched it. Almost claustrophobia for the characters often caught in their predicaments. Here I am full circle back to that same feeling I had watching that old TV show. Now, I feel I am a character in one of it’s episodes.  An achey old man in debt that never saved or did not feel I would live long enough for that. I thought social security would be my safety net yet that may not be there for me due to idiot politicians. What can I do to SURVIVE? Keep being a valid useful worker. Never slack off. Push through the pain and the slower healing wounds. Try not to get cut or bruised because blood thinners make me bleed a lot and the bruises are epic. The owner of the company I work for is stupid about people and insane about life, I believe. I used-to argue with him then came to fear he could destroy me. Kick me out in the blink of an eye. A whim of ego and emotion. I am at his mercy and that of my boss who could quit any time because he doesn’t need the money. Yet he DOES have more understanding of me and how I may feel at this age. My boss and I go back a long long time. He’s seen a lot of my blood there 😉 He’s seen me go down and rise up many times. I always rise up. 

Yet here I am in that Twilight Zone episode of my own living. Wondering if the next faltering step will take me down and there will be no Rising. There won’t be enough ibuprofen to keep me pushing through the pain. It’s a living nightmare every day there. Other times it’s a comfortable sense of accomplishment that I have BEEN there so long when so many could not take it or had the luxury of retirement. 

I look in wonder at the energy of my younger coworkers. How fast they can move. How much they TALK … and talk without any real meaning. Like neurotic barking dogs. “Was I ever that way”? I sometimes ask myself?  “Yes and probably worse” I admit, shaking my head laughing. 

My hand hurt typing this. I often hit the comma key instead of the period key. I tell my boss I can’t do assembly like I once did. Or type as I once did. I don’t think he gets it except… his wife has arthritis. He gets it a little. He’s also had old dogs that creep around trying to keep up with the younger dogs.

That’s me.

On the bright side of things, I was able to shit without straining or bleeding today.

My sense of humor is better than ever.

Practice, I guess.

My feelings of compassion and empathy are stronger than ever.

Practice, I guess. 

My sense of self confidence is stronger. 

At the same time,

A stronger bowing to the universe sense of humility is there

A smaller ego 

Shaved away stroke by stroke

Year by year.

I am divorced and have someone far away that SAYS they are my, “girl friend” but I don’t feel it. I been through so much I am skeptical of so much.

But hey,

I got a bird in a big damn cage in my kitchen. Bird don’t give a damn about me unless there is food in pinched fingers. “Here Buddy, have a sunflower seed”. It gives ME joy. Like thinking of that bird when I shuffle bent over at work. Stand up straight! You got a bird to take care of! 

Yeah it’s nuts and pathetic but I got a bird. 

I got a bird. 

That’s what I got.

I smile sometimes thinking about that bird.

‘Cause that’s what I got now:

Little joys that make life have meaning.

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