The times, they are a-changin’, and your old man can barely keep up with them. Everything moves so fast, and I… I feel so slow. My vision isn’t so good anymore. But I can clearly see it bothers people when it takes me a bit of extra time to cross the street next to the seniors’ residence where you and your sister so reluctantly put me. The other day a young man yelled at me, claiming I should do like other seniors and get me an hoverchair. I flipped him the bird; he called me a dinosaur and dove his head back into his car’s motion dashboard. My doctor also told me, albeit more politely, that I should start using an hoverchair to spare my bad knee the shocks of walking on the concrete (hell, back in the days, doctors used to tell me to take long walks three or four times a week so I’d reinforce my knee). I understand his point, but I don’t want you and your sister to spend another fraction of your hard-earned coins on the useless old man that I have become. Oh, and your sister mentioned biotech implants for my knee and eyes: tell her I don’t want any of that bullshit overpriced technology grafted on my collapsing body. Anyway, I’ll keep using my two old feet to get around. It feels good to feel the ground beneath me, I don’t know why every goddamned thing has to be floating nowadays. Nobody gives a shit about gravity anymore I guess.
I remember when uncle Luke (you remember uncle Luke, right?) and I managed to actually keep up with emerging technologies. We used to marvel for hours at the wonder that the Internet was. Back in the days we were even able to make good money thanks to its expanding popularity and accessibility. Now the “Internet” is just another dusty word that belongs to an era steadily falling into History’s hands. And I’m afraid I, too, will soon have to be on my way. I must become part of this past I have dreaded and fled and fought for so long, for too long. I haven’t got many tomorrows left; I can feel it inside of me. There are days when my whole body is aching, when every muscle I have is begging me to let go.
And I’m ready to go. I want to, and if I could, I would, right now. But I can’t: I made a promise to your grandmother years ago, a promise I intend to keep until the very end, bitter or not. Sometimes, before taking my daily bath, I stand naked in front of my room’s only mirror, looking at each and every tattoo that covers parts of my sagging skin. Did I ever tell you how many times your mother told me to get rid of them? Hundreds, if not thousands of times. But I was a stubborn man, and I never set foot inside the paying laser-erasing booths that popped up years ago. And I’m glad I didn’t, because today I look at the ink’s fading colour and I smile, remembering a bunch of people, moments and feelings. They’re a proof reminding me how young and alive I once was. How stupid, how angry, how broken-hearted and how hopeful I have been.
But those days are gone. Now I am mostly weary. I have done my part, I have fought my battles. This world isn’t mine anymore, it’s yours. I have laughed and loved and suffered enough; I’m ready to go dance with the stars now. I am filled with both pride and pain, and I long to rejoin the ghosts that illuminate most of my memories.
You and your sister were the best thing that ever happened to me. Even when my tired body leaves, I will stay with both of you, in your hearts, for as long as you let me. And if you listen closely, I bet you’ll hear me laughing in the wind, glad to have finally found the answer.
With love, always
Your old man