“Is it just my imagination or are you shrinking?” my wife asked me.
“No,” I responded with a deep sigh. “It’s not your imagination. I actually am shrinking.”
I used to be 6’1”. But at my last annual physical exam the news was not good. No, I am not dying…not yet anyway. No, I don’t have any serious or fatal diseases. But I was shocked and disheartened when the nurse took my height and weight and told me that I was 5’11”. Omigod, I am shrinking!
I asked my doctor about my two-inch height loss. She tried to be very reassuring, informing me that, starting at about age 40, people people tend to lose about four-tenths of an inch of height every decade. It’s this thing called gravity. Shrinkage occurs even faster after age 70, with senior citizens shrinking by as much as three inches!
But wait, there’s more bad news. It’s not just height that we lose as we age. We experience decreases in everything from hair and hearing to memory and muscle. Yikes!
My hair turned gray before I lost most of it from the top of my head. And as to my hearing, I certainly am aware that my hearing ain’t what it used to be. I’m sorry. Could you please repeat that?
With respect to my memory, I can’t recall if it is getting any worse. Ha! Get it? I can’t recall! I don’t remember! Oh my goodness, I am so witty. I certainly haven’t lost my keen sense of humor with age! Har! Har!
Muscles? I never had too many of those in the first place, so you can’t really lose what you never actually had, can you?
Isn’t it bad enough that as one ages, there are more maladies and everyday aches and pains to deal with? When you look in the mirror each day, you see new lines and wrinkles, and the skin on your neck is starting to look more turkey-like than human.
Strange growths that were never there before appear at various places on your body. Your chest shrinks while your mid-section expands. And while you lose most of the hair on your head, where it should be, the hair in your nose and ears, where it shouldn’t be, grows like crazy.
And then, on top of all that, you shrink. Damn you, gravity.
Written for today’s one-word prompt, “imagination.”