Sunday, May 07, 2006
A lesson in living from an old man
Today, I was eating lunch at Denny's with my wife. At the table next to us, an old man and woman slowly ate huge platefuls of fatty food. The man must have been at least 193 years old. He was, physically, the oldest man I've ever seen. He loudly and cheerfully joked about many subjects in between mouthfuls of lunch. Before we got our food, he was finished. He began the arduous and methodical process of standing up from the table, assisted by a cane. It probably took him five minutes to get out of his chair. His back was badly bent at an almost forty-five-degree angle. He looked like an upside-down L. It took him 23 minutes to get to his car, parked right in front of the window through which I was staring. About 12 1/2 minutes into his journey, he stopped and spit out an enormous wad of yellowish mucus. Then he pulled a cigarette and lighter out of his shirt pocket and lit the cigarette. This man, who not only had one foot in the grave but also a couple of elbows and a knee, was literally beaming as he slowly inhaled and exhaled the smoke. It was something to see.