(Posted 2015-07-13 18:30:00 +0000)
Well, it finally happened.
I got on the bus this morning on the way to work. There were no empty seats, but that’s usually the case, and I generally expect to stand. Besides, it’s a short ride—I was only going to the Metro station, ten minutes away.
As luck would have it, though, a gentleman was getting off and offered me his seat. I thanked him, squeezed by him, and sat down. He stood in the aisle next to the seat, waiting for the bus to stop at his stop so he could get off.
Except…he didn’t. Get off, I mean. He didn’t signal the bus to stop, and he didn’t move any closer to either exit door…and it gradually occurred to me he wasn’t about to get off.
He gave me his seat, presumably, because that’s the polite thing to do when someone older than you is standing.
I prefer to think it was the way I was dressed. I’ve never had anything close to fashion sense. Instead, I wear what I think looks good, or fun, or whatever. Hawaiian shirts are the norm, for historical reasons (a topic for another time). Outdoors, I also wear a travel vest from SCOTTeVEST, because I like pockets; and a wide-brimmed black hat, because it keeps sun and raid off my head and I like the way it looks. And that day, I was carrying an umbrella—a “katana umbrella” like this one—which, unlike most today, is full length and might possible be mistaken for a cane.
So I tell myself, he saw how I was dressed and made an assumption about my age. It can’t possibly be the wrinkles around my eyes, or my bald head (I shave it, though I don’t need to shave as much these days), or something indefinable behind my eyes that says “I’m old!” or something.
There’s an old Latin phrase, not unique to Freemasonry by any means but often used by Masons: Memento mori. Remember, you will die.
I’ve long known I’m aging (duh), and I’ve spotted the occasional gray hairs or new wrinkles. I accept it; I acknowledge it.
But I think this is the first time someone else acknowledged it, without being asked to.
Oh well. Onward.