I know lots of people work at getting in touch with their inner children … their long-denied younger selves whose unsatisfied needs unconsciously shape adult behavior. People believe that discovering those unfulfilled longings can help free them from the traumas and anxieties that result from childhood frustrations.
But I’m doing the opposite. Since my prostate surgery, and 3 weeks of having an indwelling (meaning just what it sounds like) urinary catheter, followed by who knows how long of having trouble peeing (or, more accurately, not peeing) have put me in touch with my inner old guy. Wearing hospital gowns at home, being unable to bike and, sometimes, to walk, have taken their toll.
Luckily, that inner old guy makes his unfulfilled needs pretty plain. It’s too hot. It’s too cold. The music’s too loud. The TV’s too soft. The vegetables are undercooked. The meat is overcooked. I don’t need any help. I can’t do this. After a while, it sounds like the opening of a Dickens novel.
The worst part about the inner old guy is that he’s inner. There’s no getting away from him. I’d be happy to make up the guest bed in the basement, but this guy won’t quit. Everywhere I go, there’s that not-so-little voice in my ear … “Are you going to finish that?”
Of course, I could try to take advantage of this, like Ebenezer Scrooge glimpsing his own future. I could turn over a new leaf. Shave off my gray whiskers. Take my anti-crotchety medication. Spend more time on Facebook and Tumblr. Buy that turkey for Tiny Tim’s family. That’s it. I’ll be the coolest, most uncomplaining old man ever.
But hey, you kids! Get off my lawn!