Old Man (2009)
By Matt Barrett
Sometimes I wish I was an old man. I wish to be an old man with deep lines etching the edges of my mouth, fanning out like little hands. That way, I’ll know that I have put my smile to good use. I would embrace creaky joints, as long as I can remember the morning walks down at the lake with my wife, the sun’s eyes as open as mine, and the candle-lit dances in our living room. I hope my hands will be weathered from holding those of my kids’, of making them dinosaur-shaped, chocolate chip pancakes, and tying their shoelaces before they race to the bus. I hope my hair falls out from endless windswept car rides across the country, and when I can barely prop my grandchildren on my lap, I hope to find pictures and possessions that’ll bring back my black lab Britney, 9th grade dance cologne, pine needles from Pelican Lake, and the scent of smoke from roasting marshmallows in the backyard. I hope that my eyes go at the hands of a thousand splendid sunsets and sunrises, and my ears by the reckless concerts of my college years. Like my dad’s ratty pair of boots, I hope to get my use.