Standing On A Chair

Telling it like I see it…

Is This the Beginning of the End?

As I stare blankly at my computer screen, my inspiration to write severely hampered by a lower-back-pain problem, I am once again reminded just how fucking old I am.  This piece will be short, so I can go lean on my heating pad for the rest of the day.

It is a new year.  I want to be positive and forward-looking.  Forward-looking?  That translates into looking forward to not just being older, but being old!

My best friend “Gladys” and I had a phone conversation on January 1.  We concurred on a number of age-related issues, one of them being about a new thing called “Sleep Disturbance.”  This is when sleeping straight through the night is suddenly a thing of the past.  Your bladder has weakened and so you have to get up to pee one or more times per night.  Problem is, it’s difficult to get back to sleep.  I’m fortunate in that my job doesn’t require me to get up at 6:00 a.m. every morning, so I can sleep in to make up for those two hours I laid wide-ass awake. 

Gladys, on the other hand, is a high-level administrator for her company.  She reports to work daily at 8:00 a.m. and she really has a tough time with that “Sleep Disturbance” thing. 

“I saw my doctor last week,” she told me.  “We’re still working on the blood-pressure issue.  But anyway, I asked her for a prescription for Xanax and she wouldn’t give it to me!  Can you believe that?”

“God no!” I said.  “How dare she!”

“I know!  I told her I need it to get to sleep!  And it helps me get back to sleep after I wake up in the middle of the night!”

“I totally get that,” I said.

“So then,” continued Gladys, “she still refused, saying Xanax is not for sleeping.  And she asked me where I was getting the Xanax.”

“Oh God.  What did you say?”

“I told her I was getting it from someone I knew, who had just moved away.  Jill, I told her my source had dried up, and if she didn’t give me the prescription, I’d be forced to get it off the streets again!”

I cracked up.  This was just like Gladys.  So frank, so without guile. 

“Are you kidding me, Gladys?  You told your doctor you were getting your pills off the street?  What did she say?”

“She just heaved this really big sigh, shook her head and said, ‘Oh Gladys.’  Then she wrote me a prescription for Ambien, of all things!  And now I’m watching my kitchen counter become all cluttered with prescription bottles.  What the hell?  Is this, like, the beginning of the end?”

After we professed our undying love for each other as close friends and wished each other a Happy New Year, I reflected on our conversation.

I guess you could call it the beginning of the end

Maybe for the body. 

But for the mind? 


One of the best things about reaching our sixth decade, is that by now, most of us have crawled out of that narcissist cocoon we lived in throughout our youth, and we can now get a huge kick out of the small things in life; things we used to ignore.

Like heating pads.

Where the hell did I leave my heating pad?


January 4, 2011 - Posted by | Aging | , ,

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