Wednesday, March 11, 2009

One Wednesday Morning

One Wednesday morning I looked out my window and noticed two elderly women heading toward my house. Both had white hair but one was in a red motorized chair while the other walked briskly beside her. As they approached my porch I went out to greet them. Up close I could see that they were twins, although the one in the chair was much heavier and seemed far older than the other. While I was sure we hadn’t met, they felt disquietingly familiar.

“Can I help you?” I asked.

“Why not invite us in for some mojitos?”

“Or lattes,” the one in the chair added. You always made good lattes.”

“She might want something stronger today,” the standing one said chuckling and they nodded conspiratorially to each other.

“Do I know you?”

At this they broke out in hysterical laughter, as though this was the funniest joke they’d ever heard. “So you don’t recognize us?” the standing one said when she’d finally caught her breath. “Take a good look.”

“A really good look,” the other chimed in, and they turned their faces to me expectantly.

The hair on the back of my neck stood erect while wriggling eels entered my stomach. This could simply not be happening.

“We came in response to the letter you wrote. Remember? When you were thirty?”

It all came crashing back, although this was hardly what I had envisioned thirty years ago when I wrote that I wanted to meet my ninety-year old self when I was sixty. It had been one of those silly exercises you do and promptly forget, when you’re trying to motivate yourself through a sticky patch in your life. You certainly don’t expect two old ladies to show up asking for drinks.

“We thought we’d go you one better and show you two potential outcomes from your choices,” the standing one grinned as she helped the other heave herself out of the wheelchair. “A little help here. She’s pretty heavy and can’t walk too well.”

Once inside, I settled them in the living room and headed straight for the booze. Coffee was not even an option. “I don’t have mint for mojitos. Straight Jack okay?”

“Oh, you know us too well,” they giggled in unison.

I threw back a double before filling three glasses. I handed them around while studying the girls. “You look great,” I nodded to the one who’d been standing. She was slender and stylish, her white hair clipped short in a flattering cut. The only wrinkles on her face seemed to be from smiling, which she did freely.

“Ninety is the new sixty,” she chirped.

“Oh shut up!” the other snapped. “Miss Goody Two-Sneakers here is insufferable. No desserts. Daily exercise. Always busy. Who wants to live like that?”

“Maybe she does,” replied the other slowly, as she flashed me a questioning smile.

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