a ~ I grow old … I grow old …I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.


“I have nothing to write about,” I say.

“Yeah you do,” answers M. “The new internet.”

I loll my head back on the couch to let him know how wrong an answer that is, but he doesn’t notice because he is deep in the folds of cyberspace. Our internet connection multiplied exponentially this afternoon, and it’s all he can think about. “6.4 megabits per second download…” he mutters to his laptop. “Wow.”

M is older than me. By… eight years? Maybe nine? I can’t remember. It seemed vaguely important 14 years ago when we got married, but now for the life of me I can’t recall why. Sometimes I worry that I’ll cheat him out of the chance to be a mysterious widower, sought after by all the single women living on the island where surely he retire to after my death. Because, likely, he’ll die first. And it will be me with the chance to be mysterious, but I’ll foil it by tripping a lot and acting socially weird whenever anyone invites me out for Japanese food.

(Thank you, thank you, younger self, for figuring out how to work chopsticks. The other day my new bosses had lunch brought in for the staff and we all ate with chopsticks and I would’ve have been much more uncomfortable if I had had to try to fake it. Really, the only way in which I was at all weird was by being silent, and I think they’re already used to that.)

I only once dated a younger man and that was in high school. Even now, if M dropped dead of shock at the speed of our new internet, I can’t picture myself replacing him with a young guy. (Actually I can’t imagine replacing him with anyone, except maybe another dog.)

How did we get on this path? What were we talking about?

This line, about the trousers, is the one I manage to remember from this poem. That and the peach. And the last couple of lines, the gist of them, their exquisiteness. The way they click. The way those words could never be any other words. The rest of it, even now after nearly two years of weekly perusal, slip through my gray matter like so many orzo through the too-large holes in the colander.

Sometimes this worries me. My grandmother lost her mind and I wonder if those particular genes have landed in my chromosomes. But, really, something is waiting, right? If it’s not my brain it will be my lungs, or my legs, or my eyesight, or… something.

Maybe a son of mine will read over this post in twenty years time and shake his head at my stunning prescience.

Until then, though, there’s sushi to appreciate, jobs to do, high speed internet to marvel at, and people to love.

About andi

Writer, editor, wrangler of small boys and dogs.

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