The retirement communities, where retirements
live in groups, advertise themselves. They
feature images of people who seem vibrant
like earthquakes, active like yeast, and
damned White, if you ask me.
I'm closer to living in such a place
than I was yesterday. I guess this
is true of a lot of people. My hip
aches, so I won't have too much more
to say here (a lie) than I wish the ads weren't
so cheery: It's basically the same appeal
that's used to get American children to get
their parents to buy cubic tons of stuff made
in Asia. Except now the kids are indirectly
urged to shelve the Old Man and Ma here,
and not there. I'd prefer ads narrated
by Charon from his ferry. "Come on down!
We're at the corner of Styx and Acheron!"
Or a riff on Bergman's white-masked Death
playing chess. "It's your move . . . into
assisted living!" Or an actor playing
Robert Johnson singing, "Meet me
at the crossroads, baby. We'll eat
some peas and mashed potatoes."
Or how about this: "Look, it's a
dormitory for the gray, it's okay
to smoke weed, and we promise
not to bother you or make you pray.
We don't guarantee it, but you
might get laid, somehow, some way."
Copyright 2012 Hans Ostrom