Sunday, May 01, 2011

The Age of the Spaniard

Yesterday I returned from a day trip and was dropped off somewhere in the precise middle of nowhere. After the drama of the lost keys and all, the day was fun, (and there was whisky), but as I began walking towards what I hoped was the city centre I was beginning to feel my age. My knee hurt from where I'd twisted it the previous day; my heel hurt, as it now does, nearly all the time and I felt faint with hunger, not having had lunch.

I considered my options. One of them was - seriously - to lurch and sway across the road strategically until someone stopped and offered me a lift. They may have thought I was drunk, which was one reason why I restrained myself. The other reason was that there were really no cars on that road. Besides, I'd already nudged my luck once that day and had taken a lift to the station in the morning from a stranger.

I am proud to report that - as befits someone of my age and decrepitude - I did not weep tears of frustration and thwartedness.

After several stories in between, I finally arrived at the grocery store on campus, where I thought I'd reward myself with some beer. At the counter, the girl looked at me, looked at the beer and said, 'Can I see some ID please?'

Assuming that she thought I wasn't from campus, I showed her my temporary uni ID.

'Is there an ID you have with your date of birth on it?' she asked.

I began to understand. No, I said, but I told her my age. The girl at the next till burst out laughing. The first girl ducked her head in embarassment and put the beer away with my other purchases.

'It's a compliment,' the other girl said, assuring me that I didn't look the age I claimed I was. I offered to show them my gray hair. (ok, maybe I didn't).

I was finding it hard not to giggle. Suppose they began to doubt my claims all over again? I did not have proof-of-age ID.

I paid, hurried out and stood on the bridge. I peeped over and giggled at the swans.

Luckily for me, a swan was doing what I have discovered the creatures frequently do: it was flapping its way frantically across the water, trying to take off. Unable to gather the requisite momentum to take off, it skid to a halt, and as if to prove that it was still the dignified bird people wrote and sang about, it unfurled its wings into a heart, preened, and arched its neck gracefully.

That, you see, made my giggling plausible. And not undignified.


Banno said...


km said...

as if to prove that it was still the dignified bird people wrote and sang about

Bah, swans are mean and noisy.

(wv: "mahantic" - maha antic?)

dipali said...

You do look very young, my dear!
What fun with the swan.
Hope your heel heals soon.