That guy, that one standing there with the jowls, the golf clubs, right there next to the subway map - look at that - the short socks and nub-knees; he should be older than I am.
That woman, with what, what's that? Her niece? Her friends kid? It couldn't be her granddaughter, could it? She needs to be older than me. Right? doesn't she?
The anchor on the six o'clock news, that guy with the fish-face, cardboard tie, dustbowl-smile; he's older than I am.
Popeye should be older than me. Homer Simpson should be older than me.
My high-school buddy is a grandfather. He called me up and said, "what's the funniest thing I can tell you? I mean, what would be the one thing, on top of all the other things, the strains, stains, tricky situations, that would give you the biggest laugh of all?"
I knew right off.
But my kid's only two. Two! That's about right, that makes sense to me, cause that's about my speed, in light years, in relative terms, in dreamland. It means my pals granddaughter will one day be fair game for my son. Think of that!
Standing, shivering, swaying over the heads on the F train, I can see the heads, the bumps, the hair, the recessions, the red ears, the crooked noses from above; I can put myself in line, the start and finish line, the big one, bead-to-thread-bead-to-thread, the one we're born into, ride and slide off of: NEXT! NEXT! NEXT! You, baldie, your turn! NEXT! It's a strict arrangement, no cutting ahead, no falling back!
So how come I feel like I'm racing up the line?