Naive Youth Needs Tattoos

Studying doesn’t start well. My pathology book is open to a chapter on lymphomas. I try reading a page, but nothing sticks. The glossy pictures of swollen, diseased lymph nodes don’t help, nor do my various brightly colored highlighters. It’s tough because the nature of the material is gloomy and morbid, a complete antithesis to the sunny day outside. It’s disease after disease, ad infinitum. Abnormal cells, malignant lumps, blocked vessels, yellow skin, crusty ulcers and green discharge . It’s death and dying every day, all day, so much so that I feel like medical school robs me of my naive youth. All this mortality stuff should be reserved for old people, not young. It makes me want to burn my books. It makes me want to scream, drink, eat fattening foods, go to an amusement park and get a tattoo.

-Manic Kingdom: A True Story of Breakdown and Breakthrough by Dr. Erin Stair

Elderly Vampires Have Bad Hips

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Bridget’s always knitting. She was eighty-two when she was infected, so she can’t do much else. Even climbing stairs can be a problem for Bridget because of her hip joints. There’s only one thing worse than being a vampire, and that’s being an elderly vampire with bad hips.

The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks

Old Eyes

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Seen in profile, his face was ageless. But his eyes had spent more than forty years looking at drunks, at knife fighters, at victims, at what happened when pickup trucks hit culverts at eighty. They were old eyes.

People of Darkness (Navajo Mysteries Book 4) by Tony Hillerman

The Plight of Women After A Certain Age

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It’s just the plight of women after a certain age. No one can see you. Sometimes I find myself daydreaming about that girl I used to be, how I could always get a table in a busy restaurant. I could raise my hand on a street corner in New York in the pouring rain and get a taxi.” She shook her head at such an impossible memory. “That’s just gone now.“…That was when I came to the conclusion that feeling invisible was something that could be talked about for hours on end but being invisible was a conversational no-man’s-land.

In truth, I thought I looked good. I had lost some weight since becoming invisible. Food was less interesting when no one could see you eat it.

Calling Invisible Women by Jeanne Ray

Good-by from Santa

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During the final 12 days before Christmas, I am posting quotes from Santa’s letters – courtesy of JRR Tolkien. It’s a wonderful book and a grand idea. I wish I’d thought of it. 🙂

The following is a note from Santa to a child who is getting to old to play the Santa-stockings game:

“A very happy Christmas! I suppose you will be hanging up your stocking just once more: I hope so for I have still a few little things for you. After this I shall have to say “goodbye”, more or less: I mean, I shall not forget you. We always keep the old numbers of our old friends, and their letters; and later on we hope to come back when they are grown up and have houses of their own and children.”

Letters From Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien

Santa’s Age in 1930-Something

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During the final12 days before Christmas, I am posting quotes from Santa’s letters – courtesy of JRR Tolkien. It’s a wonderful book and a grand idea. I wish I’d thought of it. 🙂

“It is very cold today and my hand is very shaky—I am nineteen hundred and twenty four, no! seven! years old on Christmas Day,—lots older than your great-grandfather, so I can’t stop the pen wobbling, but I hear that you are getting so good at reading that I expect you will be able to read my letter.”

Letters From Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien

Truth Is Complicated

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The truth, we realise as we get older, is a very complicated pastiche of feelings and facts, of what can and cannot be said. It’s different for everyone.

Calling Invisible Women by Jeanne Ray