Billy and Me

My friend Billy and I live in different states now. A few years ago we were coworkers at a place called NPIC ( ). Now we stay in touch by email. I don’t mean daily or weekly emails but rather whenever thoughts or events move us to write. You see, when you are true friends brief lapses in time don’t matter – the friendships endure.

Anyway, last week we had one of our episodic exchanges of emails. Golf was discussed. Although I had something to do with Billy playing golf, his skills now surpass mine. We also touch on what we are reading these days. Of course we spent a few words thinking back to when we worked together. We agree that those were good times.

But Billy reminded me of one fact that stopped in dead in my tracks. He reminded me he is an octogenarian now. I thought to myself, “How the hell did he become one of those?” It was just a few years ago when we were working together. It was just yesteryear that we headed to our favorite place at lunch time for a great chili dog. It wasn’t that long ago that we and our wives got together for an enjoyable evening. So I guess I subconsciously refused to come face to face with the fact that he was moving into and now is in his eighties. For, you see, if he is that far along then I’m not that far behind.

That’s the part that really rattles my bones – being near that octogenarian label. God willing, in the not too far future my odometer will be rolling over to eighty. That is a number I never took in a personal interest in, never internalized. I never gave it a second thought. I never uttered the word octogenarian except to describe those old geezers in nursing homes.

And now – “Just a minute, damn it. Slow down. Stop the train I want off.” Alas it is not to be. Billy raised the curtain on the eighties show and soon I’m going to be in the cast of the Octogenarians. The ticks of the clock are inextricable. There is no side door, no fire escape, no stopping time. So it is that with each tick of the clock we are one step closer to the next milestone birthday. So, Mr. C, hang in there. I’ll meet you at the corner of 81st Ave. and 79th St. in a year or so.

Copyright © 2015


  1. Regis Monahan

    We’re all on the same ride!!
    Enjoy it….

  2. Anonymous

    Stark reality – shocking – but it beats the alternative! So glad you and your Polar Bear classmates at rounding the bend. You are a very precious few. Loving thoughts, Barbara E.


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