I Don’t Want to Grow Old

Nonardo Perea

Madonna. Foto: wikipedia.org
Madonna. Foto: wikipedia.org

HAVANA TIMES — As we all know, many people today do anything to retain a youthful look. I don’t know why, as the marks of aging are nothing other than a reminder one has had a long existence. People who do not age, it is reasonable to conclude, die young.

There are those who try to halt the passage of time at all costs, through aesthetic procedures that can include surgeries, Botox injections and anything the cosmetics industry puts out there.

As I see it, when maturity announces its arrival, the years begin to pile up, one after the other, and it sometimes feel like a train running over us.

It would be hypocritical of me to say I feel comfortable with my age. Of course not, and not only because I get tired more quickly now than I did before. I can no longer touch my toes with the tips of my fingers, my libido has gone down, my aches grow in number, I can’t do a split like Madonna does (at the age of fifty-seven).

We can’t lose from sight, of course, that the Madonna of the 80s and 90s was something else. Despite all the publicity surrounding her work, she now has trouble getting a single into the top 10 list, and US broadcasters aren’t that much interested in airing her songs. Why? It’s simple: for the media, Madonna is already too old and worn out. It doesn’t matter how good her last album was, she doesn’t even get MTV nominations, where young women reign, even though they’re superficial and untalented. They have what the industry demands: youth, that precious treasure.

It’s crazy. It no longer matters how much effort an artist puts into their work, it doesn’t matter how artistic or professional you are or the long career you have behind you. I focus on Madonna, who has been my muse for decades. The worst part is that, as in most things, women are the ones who suffer this most, and we know why.

I feel far too much importance is given to age today. For many, a 30-year-old person is already old. Even many literary and film festivals have an age limit of 35. If you’re older, you are no longer eligible. In short, it’s almost as if, after that age, you cease to exist. This is also true of many photography competitions and many other things.

From time to time, I fight against it, like many other people who regard old age as the worst thing that can happen to us. However, I am also convinced it is something inevitable. As I said at the beginning of this post, those who do not age quite simply die.

I have my sights set on life. Old age is something we must all face, and we must realize old people can also create new things. Old age is not in the least bit inconvenient. An old man can be just as creative as many young people, and they can also have plans. Most importantly, they have experience, the experience many young people today don’t have, as maturity seems to arrive quite late these days.

Nonardo Perea

Nonardo Perea: I see myself as an observant person and I like to write with sincerity what I think and live first hand. I’m shy and of few words; thus it’s difficult for me to engage in conversation. For that reason, my best tool for communicating is writing. I live in Marianao, Havana and am 40 years old.

8 thoughts on “I Don’t Want to Grow Old

  • I just spotted this Warhol and Carlyle and love the comments. Johnny G finally has struck a chord but basically age is a state of mind. I mean look at the Queen of England! I’m an Irish citizen and love her! She’s ageless and a class act. You’re not going to like me but the Castro brothers are over 80 and like ’em or leave ’em look pretty good for their age. Basically, I’ve seen 30 year olds, obese and haggard and I’m sorry that’s there own fault and I’ve seen 90 year olds running marathons and hanging with woman young enough to be their grandchildren. Now that’s not my style but I work out every day and it’s a bitch I’m 66 and in excellent shape (need to lost 18 pounds though.) One other recommendation, don’t see a doctor unless you’re dying! I’m serious! If you have appendicitis or a heart attack for sure but otherwise just live right and you’ll live long! ps- love the name Warhol.
    you must have had some eclectic parents!

  • A very apt analogy .
    A hired/volunteer army was also part of the Roman Empire’s downfall

  • emagicmtman,
    What happens when people have enough to eat and feel secure about the future: their birth rate drops below the level needed to sustain the current population.
    I believe both Israel and the USA depend on immigration for population growth and this is nothing that we have to wait for the future to know is true.
    The future of just 20 years from now will produce a wealth of energy, food , education technology and in short , all the necessities of humanity by pure robotics and AI.
    Just today I read that President Obama has issued an executive order to develop a 1000 petaflop capable computer which happens to be the level at which the human brain works.
    Two years ago the Chinese had a 33.4 petaflop array and the time it takes for that to double and double again and again and reach and PASS human level, is actually shortening as more resources are being poured into this last race to super-human intelligence.
    Obama got the message. Whoever reaches that smarter-than-human intelligence FIRST, will wield enormous power in the near-future world of the 2020s.
    It would be better if we were a civilized race , coming as soon as it certainly will .
    As noted Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci once said of a different time:
    “The old world is dying and the new world struggles to be born.
    Now is the time of monsters”
    I’d advise fastening seat belts

  • Would be really wish to live in a world where “Death Takes a Holiday?!” It seems to be that in no time at all such a world would become very crowded. Under such conditions, life would become very unappetizing. As much as we don’t like growing old and dying, better to go down to dim Dis than to hang around too long.

  • I’m currently on my eighth book dealing with the technologically advanced and seemingly for the average person , too-soon future .
    For reasons too involved to go into here, it is highly likely that within 20 year or thereabouts, humanity will have cured all disease including old age.
    They have already reversed aging in lesser creatures like worms in which they extended life by 100% . Time Magazine did a cover story last year on this work showing an infant under which the title read ” This child could live to be 142 ”
    For us older folks , if you are now fairly healthy and can make another ten years, in that time and as the technology becomes exponentially/rapidly increasingly more capable , cures for diseases that would have killed you in that time may well become a reality. After another ten years again, given the ever-increasing rate of progress , nanotechnology; including tiny super-smart doctor robots running around inside us and the ability to manipulate DNA so as to eliminate all the bad things we inherit from our parents like diabetes, likelihood of certain types of cancer etc will eliminate everything short of an oncoming train that can kill us – and the robot driving the train probably wouldn’t hit us anyway.
    This future is about 20 years away with the changes happening faster and faster .
    Cheer up.
    and stay healthy for that 20 years .
    Incredibly good times for humanity are approaching.

  • …but to return to Warhol P’s subject, we have no choice (save, of course, the conscious early termination of our existence) but to grow old. Even here, there are many choices (e.g. “No fool like an old fool,” and I know many in my lifetime). We have to make conscious choices to expand our knowledge. Arriving at Truth (and the many little truths upon which it is based) is never an easy process. It requires both logic and intuition, planning and spontaneity.

  • The Roman Empire was at its best when, based on merit, good emperors chose (“adopted”) their successors (at least according to Edward Gibbon). In this case, Pres. Raul’s decision seems in line with this tradition. Here in the States, such successors are chose by how much $$$ the multi-nation corporatins can pump into their campaigns (much in the same manner as the patricians dominated “elections” for the Senate, Consuls and Tribunes during the murderous dying days of the Roman Republic).

  • I can only speak as a male. In my experience young men tend as they grow older to think that their field of knowledge is ever increasing and become increasingly confident that they are knowledgeable.
    Then one morning when they are about 35, they suddenly find that there is something that they don’t know, thereafter day after day they discover more things they didn’t know.
    That day when they realise that there is something they don’t know, is the day when they start to acquire wisdom!
    Early in the 20th century it was possible to be a good generalist and to have some knowledge of most fields. But each field of knowledge is expanding today at a rate which makes being a good generalist impossible. Specialization is virtually essential.
    How does this affect Cuba?
    Well, Cuba is governed by an octogenarian with a support group of similar or even older age – a bunch of old much be-medalled generals. Madonna is of similar age to the bright young future President of Cuba – Diaz-Canel. Under the current regime change of thought is self evidently impossible and Raul Castro Ruz when selecting his successor clarified that Diaz-Canel was a true communist and faithful to Socialismo.
    I like the optimism expressed by Warhol P when he writes “Old age is not in the least bit inconvenient – now there speaks a younger man!

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