Thursday, December 18, 2014

have you ever felt free, realizing you couldn't make a fortune?

                                                and they cut my red coat off me

yes, the dust is settling after my flight over the hood of a small sedan. friends have been terrific, bringing food, chauffeuring me to doctors and lawyers, washing clothes and vacuuming the floor. i just shaved off my two week beard. ah, ten years younger, not quite the derelict i was yesterday. hallelujah!

sitting outside the lawyer's office, looking up into the green trees and grey skies, i felt liberated. i'm alive, only a fractured ankle to show for this little mid-winter adventure. (i realized my life has simply been one little adventure after another.) 

"so" he said, "you have a choice, get tangled in litigation, maybe lose money, or make a few bucks. or simply do nothing." do nothing? friends had been saying, "maybe you'll get a settlement, twenty or thirty thousand." on the verge of a decrepit old age, that sounded promising. then i got the police report. my heart dropped. an Hispanic woman with three kids, old car, living in the poorer part of town and lousy insurance. 

at that moment i knew my fate was sealed. that said, a tiny grain of greed remained when i got to the office of the law. the lawyer gentle, helpful, fun, not your idea of the evil guy. slowly, going over the papers, he let the truth be known. and once i had made my decision (when in doubt do nothing) i myself felt i'd evaded the clutches of the court.

oddly, i found out people on the lower end of morality try to get hurt, so they can sue. and here's the guy (me) not even on scale who keeps remembering the driver crying over my body, "i'm so sorry. i'm so sorry. i didn't mean to do it." how could i attack the virgin mary when she cried for me in a way no one else ever has. 

goodbye, limousines, trips to the hesperides, nights in the darkest depths of paris depravity. i'm left staring up at blowing branches, thinking, 'i'm alive, how did that happen?'

Young at Heart: Feeling Younger Than Your Actual Age Linked to Lower Mortality

By Kristin J. Kelley
What's the key to living longer? While eating your broccoli and running probably play a role, so might self-perceived age. People who feel younger than their actual age have reduced mortality, according to a research letter in JAMA.
U.K. researchers analyzed data from some 6500 adults aged 52 years and older who were asked, "How old do you feel you are?" Almost 70% of participants reported feeling at least 3 years younger than their actual age, 25% felt close to their actual age, and 5% felt more than a year older than their true age.
During approximately 8 years' follow-up, mortality was lower in participants who felt younger (14%) than in those who felt their actual age (19%) or older (25%). After adjustment for covariates (e.g., age, ethnicity, sex), feeling older than chronological age was a significant independent predictor of mortality. A relationship existed between self-perceived age and cardiovascular death but not cancer death.
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