Do you picture ageing? I do. When the kids (and the knees) are gone. When the house is empty and my memory echoes painfully from the voices of their childhood- the kids, not the knees. When life doesn’t have loans to be paid. Or impressions to be made. When my circle of friends has grown smaller and richer. When it’s all done and dusted. I will be sporting a white beard, and a bald head – silver fox. When I can’t run my usual 10kms every Saturday. When maybe I have gone vegan to keep disease and death at arm’s length. I’m writing daily and have taken to publishing books or running a big successful lifestyle website with smart funky and brilliant writers who wear odd clothes and endearingly call me “The Fox.”
I will definitely have a writing room in my digs. Not one in the basement- that is for psychopaths- but a penthouse with large glass windows that eyeball sunsets. I will bang out 3,000 words a day, everyday. Well, except my birthdays, the holidays and Valentine’s Day. (Because The Fox is still a sucker for romance).
But writing isn’t all I want to do when I’m aged. I will want to be a barman as well. In an uppity whiskey bar with a large odd chandelier swinging above it. A bar with a well polished counter and wine glasses hanging upside down above on a wooden rack- like clear bats in a cave. (Because whisky drinkers hang with wine drinking girls, no?) I will always wear denim on denim, sometimes throwing a half-coat over it and always with a newsboy hat to top it off. A white towel slung over my right shoulder and a sly grin on my face, one that says “I know a hell lot about life than you do, son.” I will work at that bar for free, probably on slow nights, when the band isn’t on and the crowd isn’t too boisterous. I will pour whisky. I will whip whisky cocktails. I will recommend whisky to curious whisky drinkers. I will wipe whisky glasses to an incredible shine and when you catch me on a very good day, when it isn’t a zoo up in there, I will sit and regal you with tales of my youth. Half made up. But bloody good entertainment. Girls will want to shag me, but I will just not have the energy or inclination for it. (And not just because my knees are gone). So I will tell them with a crooked wink; “Sweetheart, do you yourself a favour and run along, I can barely stay up after 9pm.” They will blush, catching on the pun.
Of course under the counter will always be my own glass of whisky. The ice-cube melted. I will sip on it once in a while when there is a small break in service. I will not take more than two doubles a night, because The Fox puts the job first. My brilliant young writers will come to the bar for cocktails after work and I will be pushing their way Whisky Sours, Green Gimlets, Manhattans and something I will name The Thirsty Nipple. My own special genius.
“Hey Fox, how about that special Thirsty Nipple?” And I will touch the tip of my newsboy and do my magic.