GEE, but I’d give the world to have the energy to see that old gang of mine. That is more or less the subject matter of a chapter in a new book I am writing, entitled “Old Age Ain’t for Wimps” Thought you might like a preview.

I have a lot of friends. Or I used to have a lot of friends. They’re still there, but I don’t see them anywhere near as often as I formerly did. How come? I’m not quite sure but, somehow or other, age has taken its toll, and you don’t get off your ass and visit friends as frequently as in the old days. Just as you don’t go to the theatre or even the cinema as much as you used to.

Perhaps the key word is chashik, a Yiddish expression with no exact English translation. Intestinal fortitude or intestinal disinclination is about as close to the meaning as I can get.In short, where is the energy of yesteryear? I’m not talking just about physical energy. Mental energy too is waning. Inclinations are weaker. Your get-up-and-go has gotten up and gone.

I formerly travelled worldwide on business, so I have many friends scattered over the United States as well as overseas. But, at my age, while the destinations may be lovely and seeing old friends exciting, who the Hell wants to face today’s airports? I know, I know, that sentiment is shared with those much younger than I.

Even if the friends are within easy driving distance, before you start to visit your old friend Elaine, you think of driving bottlenecks, parking problems and the ever increasing cost of gas. Maybe you still visit, but maybe you don’t. More often than not, you don’t have the chasick.

The real tragedy, however, is that you rarely see friends who live much closer. Subways involve walking up and down steps. Buses are slow as molasses in today’s traffic. And even if Lynne and Marty live within 30 minutes walking distance (formerly t5 minutes walking distance), instead of a pleasant stroll, it becomes a chore. I still walk, but these old legs ain’t what they used to be.

Another factor. We’ve known these old friends so long, there’s very little new we can tell each other.It’s like that old bit of doggerel:

“Our old friends will arrive today.
An entire week, they plan to stay.
The first night, we’ll have conversation,
The other six re-iteration.”

And even if you are lunching together, by the time lunch is finished, you usually have exhausted new subjects of conversation and finished telling each other jokes you’ve all heard before. Oh well, there’s always politics.

Incidentally, re that juvenile bit of poetry above, It came from my memory and I put it in quotes, but don’t you dare ask me where it came from. I don’t remember.

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