Aging sucks. 

You wake up one morning, look in the mirror, and realize everything has changed. 

Suddenly you’re no longer as sharp, no longer as refined. People say your age belies wisdom, but you just wish your back would stop hurting. 

Cliché or not, you crave the momentary check-out. Is bliss in a bottle? Is it in old friends? Is it in temporary ones?

One thing you never tolerate is the dreaded inbetween. Those that think they know you, a you that seems more fiction than history… Those people are the untolerable masses. 

From what do you hide? Is it truly the past coming back for repayment? Is it the stories that never were as others read them?

Either way, “From whom” seems less necessary to ask, for at this age you avoid no one as steadfastly as you avoid yourself. 

You were a superhero to some. That legacy is your cross. It’s theirs too, though. 

For they are the ones with expectations. They are the ones who see their own aging in your decline. 

For you it’s all a toxic mixture of failed missions and never good enough. You can’t forgive yourself for not having tried, and you’ll never forget when best intentions fell short. 

“You never wanted this.” No one cares, Bub. 

You don’t want to be younger. You just want this chapter to end. 

But what then? Grace? The grave? (Talk about an oft-debated consonant.)

Is there even grace to be had? Maybe not from above. 

Graceful… That’d be a start. Whatever makes the aching stop.