Sunday, March 16, 2008

Old and Alone

I have this friend, J. We’ve been close for years, and it was his 80-something birthday a few days ago. I took him to lunch and brought him some Turkish glass birds (he believes in Luck). He’s had an incredible life, but a hard one: war, injustice, prison, short marriage, lost kids, voodoo, underworld, poverty. He’s always lived life on the fringes.
Now he’s old and alone. He may have always been alone, but when you’re old, it hurts more. I tend to think, that won’t happen to me. But I’m fooling myself. Being alone in old age could and does happen to anyone, even those with large families and money. J isn’t homeless only because of the social safety net and because of being a WWII vet.
I’m not feeling very optimistic today.

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