A faltering Step.

by Gerard Oosterman


As I took the empty cup back from the bedroom, I, for no good reason and totally unintentional, faltered and like sometimes seen during a weird religious procession, feebly took a step backwards. This step was not intentional or religiously motivated. I never felt that a belief in the Here-After would necessitate taking a step backwards. I meant to keep going forwards towards the kitchen-sink in a normal straight line. I wanted to rinse our first ‘coffee of the day’ cups, resolute in making the second one.I have done so for many years. There was nothing in this mornings procedures to indicate there was going to be a lapse in that.

Am I now on the cusp of an era whereby I will, and with increasing frequency, falter? Up till now I prided myself that no one would get up for me in the bus or train. I still jauntily would hop on and hang from a strap, pretending to have an IPhone, scrolling through important data.

My wife spoiled this illusion, of still being youthful, by pointing out that many elderly were also hanging from straps and in any case, the young now don’t get up anymore. That the world of consideration and respect on public transport has disappeared together with knitting, friendly conversations and reading newspapers. Stress is now the main catalyst in the lives of many, especially the young and the previous effervescent. It shows in the faces, all so puckered and tensely concentrated. There now exist a kind of restless concentration on public transport. I don’t really understand this as yet, but am getting close. I’ll let you know.

Ever since large families have disappeared, the young are now hooked on getting ‘likes’ and ‘face-book’ alerts on their 5G IPhone. They connect on dating sites and even have sex on line through vibrating messages on their Apple inside their pockets. No time for getting up on public transport. It would show up and be embarrassing.

I decide to keep a watch on future falter or other signs of decrepitude of which, so far I have not been bothered too much. Sure, my recall of names and facts are somewhat slower but I still remember my first books (Eric The Norseman) and loving dates, alas without vibrating IPhones in my pocket.
There is still so much to experience.