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There Was a Time

I am a relatively young man.  I say relatively because when I visit someone at the geriatric ward, they call me kid.  A robust sixty-five years old and will be sixty-six next month. I luckily enjoy good health and am still able to hold my stomach in when a babe is around.  I’ve suffered the normal stuff of aging, loss of a tad of muscle mass, memory and hearing loss, sometimes as convenient, and perhaps half a step as a middle linebacker.  I’ve never had a self esteem issue unless you count having too much. That is until five years ago. I worked in the prison system for nearly thirty years and was sharing a ‘war’ story with my grandson and his grandmaw.  It was a story of a pal Nick and myself being outnumbered by several prisoners and doing battle. I noticed a smirk on my, at the time, eleven year old grandson. The look that says, of course you did grandpa.  At fifty eight years old, I had my first encounter with a tinge, a tinge mind you of concern for my masculinity.  I took the mature approach. I allowed myself to progress through the steps of disrespect. I pouted, threatened to kick his young ass and then left to drink a case or so of beer.  I was going to drink the beer anyway but this is one of the steps.


I reconciled the unintended slam from my grandson and thought, he never knew me in my fighting days.  You just don’t look like a fighter grampa, was not meant as an insult.  I weighed the fact that beating him in a fair fight was not a sure thing.  Over the next five years I mentioned the conversation a few times and we laughed heartily at  the absurdity of the thought, I was not once a gladiator inside the very walls of perdition. I resigned myself to the fact the entire issue was due to him being a youngster, naivete and my overreaction.


Life was good and I was able to continue on as a Type A, domineering male.  Until, while discussing the days I had a motorcycle, with grandmaw.  “Yep,I was known as Biker Bill. Rape, rob and pillage, that’s all we knew.”  Without missing a beat, grandmaw said, “good lord, it was like riding with an insurance salesman.”  I’ve never heard, ‘insurance salesman’, used as a derogatory term, but in the context of our conversation, I could only draw one conclusion.  


My options of recourse are limited.  As a gentleman I cannot strike a woman, although I have considered contracting the job out to a lady I know of a somewhat, ‘butch’ persuasion.  The boy’s sixteen now and there’s no way in hell I can whip him. I will bide my time until the time is right, to give someone a proper thrashing in front of both of them.  In the meantime, my old neighbor and pal, Mike and I will talk about that time in I-Block when...

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