Dudley’s writer’s group prompt was just — Who will you be?
Never have I been asked just, “Who will you be?”
I know who I am now, and
who I will be in a hundred years is obvious.
I will be dead and long gone and probably long forgotten.
Perhaps something I did or wrote will be remembered, –
I am old, so whoever it is that I am going to become
will soon be known to me, but
only when I get there.
That being the probable situation, and I being who I am,
I will probably still be me. And
I will still be recognizable to myself.
My personality has been drifting toward getting grumpier but
I am trying, really attempting to try
to create the habit of being kinder;
kinder to other people
and kinder to myself too.
If I am successful in creating that habit
in a few years, I will be a noticeably kinder and
a less grumpy person.
Nowadays when I see people do stupid things,
I still get grumpy, and
when I see it’s me thinking stupid thoughts
I get grumpy with myself.
When I see it’s me that’s doing stupid things
I get super grumpy.
So — “Who will I be?”
say, in five years?
A sweet kindly old man?
Or, an obnoxious geriatric crank?
The way it’s going at the moment
the most likely “me” will be … uh
When I am confronted with a situation that I am comfortable with
I will be the kind, funny old guy, but
When I am involved in a bit of human stupidity
I will react with the wimpy sarcasm of a feeble old fool.
Sarcasm is a trait I was infamous for in my teens
so, as I revert through the aging process back into geriatric infancy
I will probably go through a sarcastic period.
Some of my friends probably already think I’m sarcastic
but it can get worse, and
If that reversion to childhood continues
in ten years
at age ninety-one
I will become a cute kid, again.
A kid that young mothers will coddle, and
hopefully, old ladies will feed chocolate chip cookies
and milk too.
I don’t remember being kind
as a little kid
I do remember wondering why the other kids were mean
and my not participating in their meanness, but
intentionally being kind, by seeing into other people’s problems
and helping them work through those problems …
Well, that’s a bit advanced for a child.
Perhaps, for a geriatric man, reverting toward old-age infancy
it may be possible
to be intentionally kind.
So, perhaps, just perhaps,
in my last few years on Earth rather than in it
I will become a kind old man.
And perhaps people will say of me, like Hamlet said of his dead father,
“He was a man.
Take him complete, with all his flagrant faults exposed,
He was a man!”