It was an
innocuous event. Two strangers passing in a supermarket soup
aisle. Me and a tall, 30ish black man. We happened to look at
each other. I nodded and smiled. I may have said hello. He said,
I don't think
that man was being mean. His smile was kind enough. And "Pappy"
is what we might call a friendly, fatherly type of person, right?
But as soon as I realized what he'd called me, I felt a profound
sadness. Was this the way people saw me? As an old man?
I'll be 62 years
old in a couple months. I'm physically active and in the best
shape I've been in decades. I don't feel like an old man. But I
suppose I am.
It could have
been worse. He didn't call me "Grandpa" or "Old Timer." So I'm
less sad now. Just writing this has improved my mood. But I'm not
ready yet to embrace my "Pappy-ness."
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