I have a neighbor-friend (let’s call her Red) who—in her mid-seventies—is adamant that she’ll live to 140.  Originally it was 120.  She upped it to 140 suggesting that people live longer now. 


Though I don’t want to burst her bubble, I don’t see the up side, especially picturing my appearance.  I see myself blinded by skin hanging off my forehead, and tripping over dragging flesh draped from my thighs.  My arms have permanent cuffs of flesh that once were my upper arms, now pooling below my wrists. Merging brown spots giving me a brownish color might be a plus, but would be overlooked because of the ridiculousness of my ears that continue to grow, making my head tiny by contrast.  Beyond my appearance, there’s the problem of with whom I will socialize. My loved ones and close friends gone and buried, I’m a social derelict. 


Concerned for Red, I’ve offered to pimp—supplying younger and younger friends for her.  This endeavor requires pre-screening to ensure healthy prospects.  Recognizing the urgency in my mission, I begin my procurement at the next neighborhood event.  Spying a youngish woman I start,  “Hi, I’m Roni, we live over there.”

            Youngish woman, “Hi, I’m Tracey.  I live there.”

            So far so good,  How old are you?”


            Oops, too fast.  “I’m mean, how old—is your house?  Ours is thirty.”

            “Oh, ours was built in 1976—thirty too!”

            “OK…do you drink, or smoke?”

            “Ah, a little wine—is this a health campaign or something?”

            “Ah, yeah.  So when you say a little wine—like—the recommended four ounces a day, or a bottle all to yourself?”

            Red is watching my progress. I give her a ‘thumbs-up’ to decrease her anxiety, and turn back to my candidate.  She is still considering my question.  “I have been known, on occasion, to drink a bottle—why?”

            Dead Liver Walkin’.  “Oh, someone’s waving—nice chatting.”

I spot a man munching raw vegetables—in preference to chips—good sign. Discovering he likes raw vegetables, I’m mentally moving him to the finals.  “Do you like older people?”

            “Why, yes, but you aren’t old.” 

            “Heck no, not me—let’s say like her, over there.” 

            “I don’t know her, but I’m fine with her being older.” 

            Good enough.  “Speaking of old, I bet you are—um twenty-three—am I right?”

            “Close, I’m twenty-six.”

            I’m tired of screening, and desperately want to go make a drink.  “And you plan on living a long time?”

            He’s amused—or perturbed—I don’t care which.  “Yes…?”

            Moving towards the bar, and giving Red the ‘go’ signal, I congratulate him, “Great—that’s great.”


From a distance I see them laughing, thinking—well done, Good Neighbor Pimp, well done, until I’m distracted by a child eyeing the cookie platter.  Blocking the cookies, I ask, “Wouldn’t you rather have this broccoli—broccoli will help you live a long, long time.”  She takes the broccoli.  No such thing as too young—that twenty-six-year-old won’t live forever.