Lisa. That is what I am planning to name my walking stick when I am 83. It sounds like something you would name a really tame pet that is not a dog. I’d call a bunny Lisa. Or a mouse. Little harmless pets can be called Lisa. A bird that can fit in your palm. Lisa. A kitten with ears too large for its body size. Lisa.

I am thinking about an 83-year-old-me for a very cliche reason. I am imagining what memories a version of me leaning on a cane with a badass inscription will treasure. I will be standing next to an anthill in the idgaf way of old women and looking into the orangeness of a sunless sky at sunset. My eyes will have forgiven me for whatever I did to them to send them on a go-slow at age 14. The long-sightedness of old age will marry the shortsightedness of my youth to allow me to create perfect vision and allow me to stare at the breathtaking horizon. My eyes will be glassy and an imaginary camera will zoom in on them. 83-year-old me will fade out and a youthful version of me will take the stage.

I want to enjoy this year. I know it’s never that serious and I really want to chill out and be in the present and so on and so forth. But in school My Life happened to me. At the beginning of the semester, My Life and I were on a running track bent over the starting line doing our on-your-magoros and set-your-makinyas and by the time the bullet went off my life had finished two laps and I spent the whole semester trying to catch up.

This year, I want to wake up at 11a.m. on Saturday and wear my I’m-allergic-to-Mondays top and black sweatpants and go to My Life’s apartment and knock. I will ask ML (My Life and I will be on nickname basis this year) if she wants to come out to brunch. And ML and I will hold hands on the roadside. And ML will stop to take a photo of a purple butterfly for the butterfly blog she has started.

When we reach the bakery, we will order muffins and regular tea. Which is different from Masala tea (yes, I’m trying to announce I go to Java now). And I’ll ask ML, “Hey, what are you up to today?” And she’ll say, “I don’t know. We’ll see what comes up.” And we can talk and talk and at 5p.m. I can look at the clock and say, “Oh, it’s already 5p.m.” But not the oh-it’s already-5-p.m. for college. The one that makes you count how many hours, minutes and seconds you have before your deadline and which friend’s birthday party you are not going to make it to even though you are very sorry. No. This oh-it’s-already-5p.m. is a happy one in which I marvel at my friendship with ML and how easily we can spend hours together doing nothing.

I read a book (Salt Roads, Nalo Hopkinson) in which one character seeks silence so much that she wishes her travel partner would breathe more quietly and paces her own breathing because she can hear her ribs. The sand sounds super loud to her as the wind blows it. But she finds so much silence within herself that she can hear other people thinking. For example, if you walk by her, she can hear you say “I need to buy meat” if that’s what you are thinking.

I hope that Saturday afternoons with ML will allow myself that silence so I hear my||self think. As a youthful version of me fades and 83-year-old me leaning on Lisa comes back into focus, I hope that both past me and present me will have enjoyed that peace that only someone who can listen to themselves think can afford.


Photo credit: