January 13, 2016

January 13, 2016

Start where you are.
Use what you have. Do what you can.
                                               Arthur Ashe

Bridgette Bardot

From the Web-Bridgette Bardot- Then and Now

Starting from where I am, I am having a hell of a time writing these entires, these past few days. I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to write. I don’t have a damn thing to say that I haven’t said a thousand times, in a thousand different ways than before. I’m here, for this hour, only to keep the discipline going. I know that if I don’t write today, it will be easier to find an excuse to not write tomorrow. So, here I am, hoping to hell that tomorrow something will change.

Odd thought crossed my mind, earlier today, while I was digging around trying to find something about which to write. That odd thought is I was born nine months and seven days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Makes me wonder if my conception was a reaction to a sense of terror that probably gripped the nation, during that time. Interesting, if I was more a child of desparate terror than any more positive emotion. As I’ve revealed before, I only escaped being a bastard by thirty-five days. Would I have been conceived if Pearl Harbor had not happened?

As I think I said yesterday (I’m too lazy to check, and to fearful to get side-tracked), I made it to the Center on Halsted despite the sub-zero temperatures. Major reason was that I needed to be there for the photo that will be attached to my city card. They use the card to ascertain who is using the lunch services at the Center, and how often. I suppose that has to do with city funding for the Center.

While there, I was asked by the Senior Services manager at the Center, if I would take part in an interview with some student nurses sometime during the month. I’m becoming the go-to guy for interviews? I did the radio interview during the parade, and this will be my second set of student-nurse interviewers. I can’t decide if it’s because I’m a fun, interesting interview, particularly articulate, or just part of a small circle of people willing to do it. Maybe it is a combination of all three.

If I mentioned, yesterday, my trip to the Center, I probably also mentioned that the discussion was about how Seniors were maniuplated and used because they are older, perhaps less mentally sharp when it comes to discerning that they are being manipulated, and when manipulated, too embarrassed or ashamed to tell anyone. The conversation evolved into a general discussion about how the aged are seen in America. If I understood the gist of the conversation, it can be summed up as older people being condescended to, spoken to, and treated as, if we were children. I can’t say that I haven’t noticed those possibilities as they effect me. The trick is not to let it happen, but that’s not alwas possible, especially when dealing with authority figures holding a whip hand, superior knowledge.

One of the things I mentioned, as regarding Seniors, is their fair representation in the media. We are most often shown as either shown as “cutesy”, or tragic, incompetent figures who are lucky if they remember their own name. Now and then, there is a chacter like the japanese instructor in The Karate Kid, but those characters seem the exception rather than the rule- and are usually not culturally American characters (the thought occurs to me), but from cultures that Americans like to see as wise and more advanced in their respect for/honor of their elders. It reminded me of the long struggle we gay people have had to get a fair representation of us through the media.

A little aside note: Gay people, by and large, do not like to deal with aging in any of its evolutions. We like to present ourselves as always young, always beautiful, always at the top of our game. Look at the pictures of men that gay publishers and product pushers foster. Everybody has a beautiful smile and a six-pack. Hell, I’ve never had a six-pack unless you count the ones I carried home from the liquor department, and I’ve had damn few of even them.

The answer is, I guess, that we have to take care of, look out after, each other. One of the point blank questions that was asked was, “If you saw a friend being exploited, should you risk their anger by telling them.” The general consensus was that yes, we had that responsibility.

And so, I’ve done what I can.


About elrondsilvermaul

I never know what to say about myself. I let what I write try to speak as to who I am. I can only add, here, that I am 72, live in a nursing home, am twenty years a cancer survivor, and identify as a gay male. I intend to use this blog as storage for poems? written over the long years (and still being written). This does not preclude other uses.
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One Response to January 13, 2016

  1. nowandzenn says:

    In general, it is sad how our society / culture treats the elderly. In many other cultures, the elderly are revered for their life experience and the wisdom that comes with it. And that is not to vilify young people. We all have our places and our roles. Somehow our society, through media portrayal and through consumerist self-interest, have elevated the youthful / thin personage to some irresponsible pedestal and in the process it has unbalanced the natural social order of things wherein we all have our places and our roles. The old pass on their wisdom to the young while the adults take care of both groups. Our social functioning under capitalism / consumerism where we idolize the individual has undermined our natural social structures and left us all adrift. That’s my humble opinion. A wonderful piece, Ray. And of course they want to interview you for your wit and your charm. And for your wisdom!


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