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...