It is not of course unthinkable that someone such as I who is precipitously close to 70 years of age should unceremoniously descend into the vernacular of a curmudgeon, a bad-tempered, surly person, a grouch in so many words.
This I am bound to observe is precisely what has transpired. And if I may, I am smug to say so (though the denomination smacks of a small compliment). My unfolding is complete! Nor should you imagine that my transformation is attended by either regret or misgiving. I prefer to characterize this metamorphosis from an angel of sweetness and light to an angry, impatient mean-spirited wretch as the predictable progression of thoughtful evolution, the very essence of declension. The dénouement is as compelling as nature’s instruction to die, irreversible and undeniable. To speak plainly, I have after much prevarication and frankly some singularly disturbing introspection come to the incontrovertible illation that my anger directed at certain and several elements of the world is more than justified and may indeed be so well-founded that to fly in the face of such enmity and eminently reasonable deduction would amount to an affront to logic, nature and my increasingly sensitive soul. I am in fact prompted to avid and zealous ejaculations of the most immodest stripe when it comes to rebuffing the unfavourable elements! Though it would be bunk to suggest I haven’t the time to be patient, the truth is I no longer have the inclination! I have exhausted the tiresome accommodation of ignorance, arrogance, delay, isolation, disrespect, disregard, pretence, stupidity and empty-headiness generally. My conviction in this gleeful prosecution constitutes such an evaporation of contest as to be utterly relieving! It’s like snapping one’s fingers at life’s erstwhile obstacles. In an instant the complexities of living are reduced to so many scattered pebbles beneath my feet. How sardonic it is that the immeasurable simplicity of life is so often muddled.
If you care to know, the ambit of my condemnation is everything from institutions to invitations, from bankers to bakers, from associates to atrocities, from family to friends, from food to flippancy, from hereafter to hairdos, from tradition to Trojan, from copper to cooper, from booze to bravado! There is no circumspection which obfuscates my view of the world. There is no staple which is irreproachable. If it doesn’t happen or I can’t make it happen, then so be it. No longer shall I agonize about things or people. Oh, how brazen am I so recklessly to immerse myself in this intoxicating liquor! I’ll have no truck with any ignorant pack of hand-wringing bed-wetters!
There is much about which I am enthused and for which I am grateful. I won’t contaminate the concoction. There is blue sky and white clouds, blue water and trees, corn on the cob, black espresso coffee, fine automobiles, gold and silver jewellery, hazy summer mornings and fresh autumn days, clothes that fit, computers and Smart Phones, music (of almost any description though I prefer classic, choral and jazz), black and white movies and photographs, clean teeth, bicycles, barrier islands, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, my loved ones, pomade, cheap battery powered watches, Sherry (now alas only the scent), oil and acrylic paintings, sculpture of bronze and steel, etched glass, bacon, green apples, bulky cotton sweaters, silk squares, carriage clocks and mantle clocks and grandfather clocks, briar pipes (to admire the grain), wavering fields of wheat, white silk tulips, oak and mahogany, millefiori paperweights, Jane Austen and Virginia Woolf and of course a sound afternoon nap on an emerald green leather couch in the declining sun through diaphanous sheers. My forum is a splendour of the senses and an illumination of the mind!
When I was thirteen years of age I grasped (I know not how or why) that the little I had to do had to be done well. This never changed until I retired from the practice of law and had nothing further to do, little or otherwise. In a moment my life’s sentence to making things happen collapsed. What lingered were the thread-like ties to the failed or failing commitments of the past. I may have hung on far too long. Eventually in spite of my determined (but ineffectual) efforts the ties snapped and I was at sea, unfettered, unbound and some would say unhinged. But oh how the memories haunted me! I made repeated false starts. It was a nightmare, climbing a hill that I was never able to ascend, always falling back. Who does one blame for the futility? Do you blame yourself? There can’t be any point to that. Do you blame others? That’s no better. The truth is we are but barques upon the sea, sometimes in unison, at other times thrown apart never to reunite. In the result all the sorry intellectualism dissolves in the face of capitulation: submission to what has happened. One can pretend to predict but it’s mostly an illusion. There is no combination of determination and talent which can effectively match what is nothing more than luck. If I were to compliment myself on anything (and even this I do so hesitatingly) it is that I extol what I have, who I am, what I do and where I land. By definition the prescription is guaranteed. Likewise I know what I don’t want to have, who I don’t want to be, what I don’t want to do and where I don’t want to be. I’m an angry old bird!