Well, its true. You are. A friend of mine returned to work today. He’s an old ornery codger named gordon, that I happen to like quite a bit. This is a rare thing. Not gordon being old. Me liking him. A lot of the people at work are old. Its hard to get young people to take jobs that require such things as sweat, and labor, and pain. I’m not here to rail about the laziness of today’s youth however. Hopefully they will be tomorrows lazy old codgers.
Gordon is about 67. He works as an electrician, and does a pretty decent job of embarassing men half his age with his stamina, attention to detail, and all around exemplary work ethic. He talks about his farm and his horses, and whatever else anyone wishes to talk about. If he starts the conversation though, its about horses or farms. He says hello Will everytime he walks by me. Hows the day going? He reminds me of the folks back home, and this is probably what caused me to levitate toward him. I generally do not make friends at work. The reason for that is that I am working. Its a novel concept that I’d like to see tried by the millions of nitwits that play solitaire, or write, or chat, or surf porn at work all day. I’m almost certain it won’t take.
Anyway. He returned to work today. He had missed three days because of the death of his son. A man 8 years younger than I. I shook his hand, and through careful scrutiny was able to detect the pain in his eyes when I expressed my heartfelt condolences. I buried a brother when I was 12, and will never forget the hell it put my parents through. The old saw about you should never outlive your children might well be the truest words ever spoken. He thanked me, and you could see it actually meant something to him. He didn’t take it as mere platitude, but an honest expression of sympathy. Not a smarmy thing. Not boohooin and huggin, but a man thing. Which same I’m sure makes many of you roll your eyes, but its a fact. Men exist.
Anyway, in our brief conversation after this I said the guy couldn’t of been but my age. He said how old are you? 44 I replied. He said with no malice, but obvious chagrin that I’d gotten 8 more out of life than his son. Then he grinned and said I guess that means were both on borrowed time. I smiled, and related the story about my brother, and pointed out that everyone is. He chuckled and said since the time was borrowed we should make the most of it.
I’m not sure how I got talked into riding a bean brained swaybacked horse this weekend. I don’t really like Gordon that much. Riding a horse is kind of like wrasslin a bag of antlers. What the hell. Its not my time. Enjoy yours like you borrowed it.