If I were to wake up tomorrow morning and to find out that I have somehow aged a decade from out of nowhere, I should have to start making some very significant changes to my approach to health care. The older someone gets the more careful he has to be about all matters relating his diet and exercise. The grey hair and wrinkles will force me into quite a major adjustment too. I shall also have to take a closer look at the reality of death because the more time that passes by the closer the ultimate moment of truth inevitably gets. Assuming this odd stroke of fate will have happened to me, I should be forced to make up quite an interesting story to explain it all to my contemporaries. Maybe I could even start wearing old-man clothes and affecting old-man speech patterns, habits and mannerisms. Since no real time will have lapsed, I shall have missed out on an entire decade’s worth of stories to tell and experiences to capitalize on. Knowing my imagination, with its tendency to go into all sorts of offbeat directions, I shall have quite a time pondering all the wild twists and turns that I shall be subjected to. Since, throughout my lifetime, I’ve always been so knowledgeable about the 1960’s I could take advantage of the twist of fate by blending in with people who are a decade older than I. It would be quite an interesting experience to be able to see who notices that there is something awfully wrong with my particular circumstances. Because of my advanced years I could feel quite free to make inappropriate remarks, to engage in inappropriate behavior and to flirt with really pretty young girls. So far I still get into quite an awful lot of trouble for things like that, but since I’ll be so old everyone will be happy to humor the harmless old guy.
Gwendolyn and Cecily have worked at the Acme Corporation, on Wellwood Avenue in Lindenhurst, for fifteen years. By now it’s quite a significant part of their lives and legends. They’ve always quite seriously enjoyed their lunch hour there. Each day, during this most important break, the inseparable friends are in the habit of taking a brief walk, only a few hundred yards, down Wellwood Avenue, to Fireman’s Park, so they can enjoy all the colorful characters who go back and forth between there and the Long Island Railroad Station on Hoffman Avenue. Last Monday, though, was quite an exceptionally distinctive change of pace for the friends. After an otherwise entirely typical morning, with all its droll mundane responsibilities, the pair punched out and got ready to go outside for a while. They took the brief walk down the corridor that leads to the main entrance, and got quite a jolt upon peering through the glass doors. It was as dark as night when they headed out on their lunch break. Neither of them could quite even so much as try to comprehend what was going on. What made it even weirder and scarier was that no one else seemed to mind, or even to notice. It was as if the whole thing had been planned in advance, and they must have been the only ones never to have read the memo. They asked a few passers by about it but all seemed genuinely dumbfounded that anyone could possibly, for one second, have suspected that anything was other than perfectly normal. All throughout the time they spent outside they felt mind bogglingly uncomfortable and self conscious but attempted to maintain their composure for fear that any further distinctive comments or body language would inevitably attract unwelcome attention and trouble. Resigned eventually to the strange fantasyland they appeared to have wandered into, they simply accepted their lot and made the best of it. After their lunch hour was over they simply wandered back to their office and never even bothered to bring it up with anyone else, occasionally giving each other winks and nudges in acknowledgement of the fact that they were the only ones who had any idea that anything had even happened in the first place.