On March 1, 1991, I checked into a hotel room with my new wife. Yes, it was our Honeymoon. Our first night together as man and wife. It’s funny, I don’t even remember how we paid for things back then. I didn’t have a credit card. Debit cards were in their infancy. I may have written a check, which seems absurd now, but I really don’t remember. What I do remember is what the young lady behind the desk ask me.
“Are you a member of any discount groups like AARP?”
That stands for American Association of Retired Persons. It was for old people. I looked to see if there was a laugh hiding behind the question. There wasn’t. She was dead serious.
I looked at my new wife and just shook my head. Poor girl, I guess I thought. I know she’s just asking a question on a form that she had to, but, hell, look at us. I am twenty-five years old. Do I look like I need to be a member of AARP? I thought it was funny.
Time creeps, though. Creeps like the lava of a slowly erupting volcano, starting out in the distance, just biding its time, so slowly at first you dare ignore it thinking there’s no way it can get me. Of course, it’s gotten everyone else over the course of recorded and unrecorded history, but I am different. I am not going to be gotten.
But time doesn’t care what I think. It moves forward. It creeps. Just like the lava, it eventually consumes everything in its path, burning it up until it’s gone. It doesn’t care that I work out, run, read, go to church. It doesn’t care that I have learned to conserve energy and get more work done that even when I was a younger man. It cares about none of those things.
The lava of time just keeps on creeping, steady and true, oozing forward, taking y life one second at a time. By the time I first felt the heat of the lava time, I know it is too late. There is nowhere to run. There never was. It will get me eventually.
My lava caught up with me just last week. I came in from work one afternoon and there it was, sitting on the counter, laughing its ass off at me.
A promotional envelope from AARP.
That’s not fair.
I am still twenty-five.
What in the hell just happened?
I thought of that little girl behind the desk of the hotel I had checked into all those years ago, how funny it was when she asked me if I was a member of AARP. What a laugh my wife and I had shared over that one.
Only I wasn’t laughing so much.