The Blissful Trough of Decrepitude

Today at Mass, yes indeed Mass, the priest told a salutary tale about respect for our elders, of valuing their contribution, on remembering that if God spares us, we too will one day be old and decrepit. We would wish to be well treated in our aged infirmity would we not? Therefore his tale cautioned, do not make old people eat from a trough and be treated like livestock, a burden on us all lest the same fate befall us when our time comes. Deo Volente. Treat others as you would be treated yourselves. Ponder that.


I have always looked forward to the certainty of decrepitude. Being institutionalised in some sort of Fold or old people’s home. I was brought up near one, I found their slow ambling and rambling fascinating these geriatric folks, slowly drifting hither and thither. Sometimes one would escape and there would be a full scale search.


There in my Fold, or home, I will get an old man’s pardon for being disruptive, degenerate and dysfunctional. At the minute people just tolerate it, but when I am old (I am already grey) I am looking forward to a bye ball on my many indiscretions.


Some things I will not welcome open armed. Incontinence would be a drag, sitting there in the damp stinking waiting for some hag to come and sort me out. ‘That’s the tenth pair of underpants this week’ she would gulder at me. One of my beautiful daughters would of course visit with fresh supplies as a mark of thanks for all I did for them when they were wee. I live in hope I should add.


I’m not looking forward to the watery gruel that will pass for food, over-cooked steak and oily spuds. Custard with skin tight as a drum. These are not for me. In my infirmity I want the girls to bring me hampers from the deli on the Prom. Salamis, cheeses, and fig and almond loaf. Perhaps a flagon of fine red wine too to wash along the memories, the sadness and the regret. And also to liberate the sheer happiness I would feel to be there, in the home. Maybe even with a sea view I could never afford when undecrepit.


The matron-hag would tear into them for bringing me contraband. ‘It aggravates his condition’ she would roar, my daughters no slouches themselves in the verbal stakes would stick up for me. None of the King Lear nonsense here I tell you, all of them would defend their dad to the death.


There is a terrible sadness in the eyes of old people in a home. Blue gleam faded as if left too long in the sun. Bags below filled with tears ready to overflow down wrinkled meandering cheeks, by jowls, to see slowly the future slipping away.


I’ll have wrinkly saggy arms, and hands. Chipped nails and stand out veins. My nose will drip, drip, drip and my teeth ache from too much eating. My belly will be flaccid then like an empty pillow case. Ass-saggy and sore-legged I will not speak of any other anatomical details suffice it to say the Gout will be a terrible affliction for a man of my age.


And I’ll sit, bent on destruction watching the waves coming in, going out, coming in, going out, the way they always do and always will. Waiting and waiting and just waiting for my turn.

One thought on “The Blissful Trough of Decrepitude

  1. none of that deli food will be coming your way … prepare for the almighty scrambled eggs prepared delicately by myself

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