How You Know When You're Old
Paris is a big city. I lived there for over 20 years. I always felt safe, but it's still like New York and other big cities, strangers can be dangerous. If I had a 13 year old daughter, I'd advise her not to talk to strangers in either city. But the first realization of advancing age happened to me a few years ago.
The first phase
I was walking home, and two young girls stopped me to ask for directions. No big deal, but I distinctly felt something a man doesn't want to feel. They wouldn't flirt with me, I'm a kindly old man, their grandfather's age! This was the first hint of not being a predator (or at least contender).
What happened to me last year was a simple, everday thing that has moved me from one age group into another. I had a near brush with this insidious temporal phenomenon a few years ago. Yesterday, at around 5PM in the outskirts of Bordeaux, I got on a crowded tram car. As I looked in vain for a seat, a young woman asked me if I would like to sit down, vacated the seat and I was forced to enter a new, "golden" age by accepting it!The final years
Ok, so the young woman who was cutting my hair a few weeks ago said, "OMG you're older than my grandmother!" But here's the thing. In my head I'm still 18, still in the running, still a contender.