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  • WJ King

Heartbeats in the Bank

I suppose most people who get relatively ‘old’ feign wonderment at it. The implication of course is, it’s amazing having attained this longevity with the way one lived . This is usually accompanied with a devil may care, come what may, attitude and a firm tish tosh. Conversely, my life has consisted of putting forth barely enough effort to survive. I am here to tell you, from the safety and comfort of my recliner, I have done nothing, accomplished nothing and have a well laid plan to do less. I have long considered life a spectator sport and fully expect to be rewarded with an extremely long existence to add nothing to my resume. Naysayers, would suggest one should live life to its fullest, grasp every moment as if your last. Boring, tiresome and a waste of perfectly good heartbeats, better left for another day.

I was attacked by another child in grade school. A malicious clap to the back of my head, sent me sprawling. The last thing I heard, before losing consciousness was, “you’re it,” whatever in the hell that meant. Mother immediately began homeschooling me. As a child, I sometimes watched other boys play sports and crash into each other. I learned better, one day jumping over a crack in the sidewalk, lest I break my mother’s back. Tumbling to the ground and scraping my knee, my nanny picked me up and gathered me to her bosom. At only seventeen years old, this was a calamity I would not soon forget.

After college and earning my degree in Library Science (which I’d never use, what with having to leave the house and all), I toughened up in terms of contact sports and became known to watch an entire afternoon of football on television. Testosterone permeated the room and masculinity abounded. I took to cursing at referee’s calls I disagreed with, until mother admonished me it was vulgar and unbecoming her little gentleman. At forty, someone asked me what my business was and I was puzzled. Mother explained, those beneath our station worked for a living and had ‘jobs’. We both cringed at the thought and I wondered why everyone didn’t have money left by their father or some other such benefactor.

At sixty seven now, mother has passed on but I am quite adept at caring for myself. Just the other day, my caretaker made a fuss over how well I made my own sandwich. All the credit goes to mother.

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