Those Days Are Coming
ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS I DID ONCE I LANDED IN FLORIDA was to locate the nearest Starbucks. No matter where I am I gotta have my morning coffee. My afternoon and evening coffee too, but that should be obvious. The closest Chapel of St. Arbucks to my lodging is about two miles away. I can live with that. I have to. But all Starbucks are not the same.
While the buildings vary little from state to state, country to country, but the clientele is unique to each store. On a college campus most of the customers will have just finished puberty, while in Midtown Manhattan the majority of the sippers will have high blood pressure and be paying child support. This week I am in sunny South Florida.
This morning I slipped into a convenient Gimp Spot, stepped around the guy who was rooting through a trash bin looking for…something, and opened the door into a familiar looking and smelling St. Arbucks. It didn’t take very long for me to notice how this St. Arbucks was a world of its own.
I got my coffee and found a table near the back of the store where I could see the entire place. I hadn’t tried to do that – it just worked out that way. The joint was busy at 8:00 AM and that table in the back was the only vacancy. It was the perfect spot for me.
I sat quietly and sipped and noshed so I could take my morning meds and continue living. That’s important to me. I imagine that it is important to most people. That room was filled with like-minded people.
I had to remember that I was in South Florida – the place where half of the residents are retirees from New York and New Jersey. As I scanned the populace of that coffee shrine it occurred to me that the average age of the people in there was at least 97, maybe more. It was a real life punchline that called Florida “God’s Waiting Room.” Suddenly I felt like I was sitting at the Kid’s Table for Christmas Dinner. So many of the old men in there, really old men, were engaged in spirited conversations with other codgers who leaned closely together because they were probably all deaf as the tables they were hunched over. I fully expected to be carded.
Without a doubt I was the youngest human in there. The Baristas were young, very young, by comparison. They were probably in their 40s but looked like preschoolers in that environment. The Dead Sea Scrolls were like today’s paper compared to this group.
I shouldn’t criticize them. I mean them no ill will. I’m closing in on them. How many years will it be before I will fit in with this South Florida Methuselah Club? There are days when I’m sure I already qualify and then there are other days when I feel like I’m 11.
Is that normal?
Or is it the sign of something I should have looked into?
I’ll have that looked into.