I’m racing the inevitable,
my only weapon an
optimistic fantasy
of permanent youthfulness.

The 1970s are to blame.
My generation is to blame.
We started this crap,
pretending we could play
where, before,
only teenagers and children could.

In my head, I’m still about 32,
on a stone patio of
a casino in Saint Tropez, in sandals,
skimpy swimming trunks,
an open silk shirt and
stylish sunglasses,
swirling a martini while
chatting up a starlet,
the two-seater gleaming
in the Mediterranean sun nearby,
ready for a getaway.

In reality, I get winded
climbing a flight of stairs.
My curmudgeonly GP–
he’s been staring at my charts for 30 years–
doesn’t bother with happy talk.
He grumbles and issues dark warnings
about my cholesterol and sugar levels,
reminds me another stroke is lurking.
Man, talk about harshing my calm, doc.

I’m thinking of offering to sign a
release of liability for him, and
apologize insincerely for
being such a disappointment.
But his pills make me ache and feel old,
which is a real drag
for a man devoted to delusions
of a perpetual youth that never was,
and never will be again.
Tinkerbell lied:
It is not enough simply to believe…

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