I think that the image I will hold of my parents in these years is of them walking down the hall, hand in hand.
I remember it most strongly when my mother was in hospital going for knee replacement. They are both stooped and a bit wobbly now, two old people worn down by the years, but when they hold hands and walk together, they reveal deep connection and affection.
I'm not the only one who has noticed this. When they left the ICU this month, the nurses all thought that they were cute, swaying together, bodies a bit gnarled, but still supporting each other.
But as I stay here, I understand more and more of how they feel, beat down. My knees may ache a bit, but instead of managing that soreness like people my age, I feel it creep all though my body. I find myself walking hunched over, shuffling along with the weight of many decades pushing my shoulders down and slowing my movements.
The only antedote to entropy is momentum, and one of my jobs here is to keep things moving forward, offer a bit of spin-up, some positive friction that requires resistance, neccessitates throwing some energy in. I give a bit of a boost and that demands my parents work a bit harder, keep a little more limber and a little less rusty. Use it or lose it, as they say.
But what about me? Here I get more and more rusty, surrendering more and more to the entropy that will eventually consume all of us. My only freedom is time I go to the fringes, when I lie down and let my mind shift to places where excitement is still possible, where engagement still occurs.
It's fun there, but that netherworld is all too shady, impossible to bring back when I get called to find a needle or help with the bathroom. Only bits of it stay with me, a fine lace of impossibility where eros and life slide together.
I get to a point and the point gets me, slowing me down as surely as aging slows down a saddened mind.
I just feel beat down.