Retired. A pensioner. An old age pensioner, we used to say back when I was young. By the time they retired, old age pensioners were clapped out, falling apart, spitting blood, half blind and senile. They’d spend a couple of months slobbering in front of the fireplace with a blanket over their knees and the Light Programme blaring next to their ear, then die. This, of course, will happen to me as well, since I was born too late to be a candidate for rejuvenation and immortality. In other ways, though, I was born at the right time: neither down the mine at the age of 10 nor forced to work till I’m 92. Baby boomers. We took the freedom our parents fought for and used it to leave a fucked up world to our children. But hey, we had a gas. And continue to do so in retirement.
As of 1/11/14, I suddenly had time in abundance. There wasn’t enough room for it in the house. I could have let it spill through the windows, spread out over the garden and evaporate – but I had plans. Objectives. Deadlines. Things you’re not supposed to have when you retire. You’re not supposed to bother about getting anything done. You dawdle, you drift, you potter.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I like to potter as much as the next man. But for all my baby boomer privilege, I don’t have enough years left to sit and watch time evaporate. So I bought a high-pressure chamber, pumped it inside and let not a drop go to waste. Every morning I open the valve and measure out the day’s ration. And woe betide anyone who, even inadvertently, siphons off some for themselves. I’m a selfish bastard, as I’ve said, and I share my time with no one.
So now you’re wondering. There he is retired and he sets himself deadlines? Why doesn’t he just chill? What on earth does he do that’s so important?
The answer? I write. Of which more in a forthcoming post.