I was called an old fart today. They say the truth hurts.
I could’ve stomached it, maybe tried to do something about it, except the young man addressing me didn’t have a whole lot holding up his pants, which meant his boxers were showing four inches above the waistband. I saw his pals dressed the same way, so one has to assume that this is a fashion. I wasn’t phased by the pin in his eyebrow, having been in Africa on many occasions, where that pin, somewhat larger, might ordinarily have run through one side of his neck to the other, it seemed quite pathetic really.
Kids today are so vulnerable. Anyway, getting back to being an old fart. I can’t for the life of me decide which word hurt the most, the ‘old’ or the ‘fart’. Having been condemned by youth and standing there in shame and reproach I realized that this world is full of nothing but sweet stupidities. I was nominated with this title after asserting my position in a line waiting for coffee. I could’ve have taken a step back and allowed the droopy pants leader to look assertive to his pals, thereby avoiding any confrontation, but hey, I’ve earned the right to be in my place. I am still alive even if my fire is worthless, my anger ridiculous, and no droopy panted teen is going to take away my dignity. I’m guessing the three were between the age of sixteen and eighteen. All had the normal African mutilations, their favorite rock bands tattooed on their arms but for one, the leader, wearing the droopiest pants, having a religious icon on the back of his hand, and presumably the master of phantasmagoria. I swear I never saw anyone who looked more like the image of the Jesus Christ I’d grown up with.
‘Come unto me all of you, even the little children, let me console you.’
That’s what I said under my breath and why the young man called me an old fart!
Doubtless at some point his parents had ruined his life. Just once I wanted to create a magic spell that would have them leaping out of their own bodies to take a good hard look at themselves. You know, make some whisper, then, in a cloud of smoke, take control of their hearts. What noble ambitions I have. I picked up my coffee, and left them sniggering. When I got to my car I heard a shout: ‘hey, mister!’ My first reaction was:, oh, no, here we go again, more trouble. The youth ran up to me. ‘You left this on the counter.’ He handed me my wallet. I made the unforgivable mistake of looking inside. ‘It’s all there, mister, we ain’t that bad.’ I looked at his face, his eyes the brightest blue and set in a face framed with long, brown wavy hair. I apologized and thanked him. He turned, going back toward the coffee shop.
I stood by my car a long moment. It’s just that with age, and pre-conceived notions, some youthful regret, I feel that I’m nothing more than a presumptuous old fart!