Thursday, June 08, 2006
I don't know why but a lot of old people go to Carl's Jr. to eat salads. There's something depressing about this. Partly, it's just annoyance at having to eat my six dollar jalepeno burger in such an environment of reprobation. This afternoon, I was biting down into this formidable creation, my eyes closing involuntarily to get a good mouthful, jaws unhinging like a boa constrictor, when I felt the gaze of the grey-haired lady next to me, clutching the perversity that was her low carb bunless and seemingly meatless "burger" in hand. She had a pair of those wraparound sunlight resistant sunglasses on so I couldn't really tell what she was thinking. But I imagined that her eyes were sending me darts of jealousy, suppressed torment, resignation. Her companion, unaware of the tensions being exchanged, was stirring fat-free Italian dressing into his salad.
When people get older, and are that much closer to death, I think they should enjoy what is left of life. Instead of squandering away their last available years of pleasure on illusions of good health. Isn't it a little late for such preventive measures? How many more minutes will they be adding to their lives by eating one more salad? It's unethical to eat salads at burger joints. And senior citizens should be particularly prohibited from this type of behavior. Those sorts of people are probably the same ones who convert to Christianity on their deathbed, futilely searching for truth in the cliche "better late than never". I'm sorry but sometimes it is too late.
Only slightly more depressing is the MacDonald's in Koreatown on 8th and Western. That branch is popular with old Korean folks who have no place to go during the day. If they were in Seoul, they would be meeting their friends at Pagoda Park, flirting with other seniors, playing chess outdoors under the hum of the cicadas hidden in the canopy of trees. But in LA, where there are no parks and only blocks of concrete, they amass at this MacDonald's with packed lunches and thermoses of tea, too frugal even to buy themselves a cup of coffee. I was told that the owner of that location felt so sorry for them that he erected a tent outside and put picnic tables out there for them. So now you can see them lounging about a little more comfortably, but still with that displaced look about them like they didn't know how it is that they came to be in America.
When I get really old, that's when I plan to be truly debaucherous. My current regimen of exercise and healthy eating is all just part of my greater retirement plan. I figure that once I pass 60, that's license to start drinking continuously from morning to night. I'll take up smoking again and live exclusively on fried chicken and pork products. All of us need goals and have dreams. Some are more attainable than others. I feel very fortunate right now that I have the foresight to work towards a tangible future and achieve these goals though they may loom distant and daunting. I vow to let nothing stand in my way.
Posted by babibi at 2:49 PM