The Day When People Looked Younger

One of my childhood’s thoughts was that there was no life after I would be forty years old.

I don’t know for sure when it came to me and how, but I remembered I wasn’t thirteen years old yet because when I was thirteen we moved to a big flat on the seventh floor. Our home was still in a very small apartment close to the river, and because I liked to have my privacy, I would go and hid under the table with a book. I was reading there one day when it hit me: ”When I will be forty, my life will be over. “ It wasn’t a premonition about my early death, but a feeling of being too old to enjoy life at that age.

I did the math and I joyfully established that there were still three decades till then.

Mom had me when she was eighteen and I was suspiciously looking at her to detect signs of her getting old. She was 28.

Years went by slowly and even if I wasn’t looking for the “morbid age” when I was 8, I wanted to be 10. When I was 10, I wanted to be 12. Each day for me was like an inflated balloon, a humongous one, hard to pull it from the moment I was awake to my time to go to bed.

We had a few neighbors mom and dad were friends with in our common courtyard, and I knew some of them were in their forties. They looked old, worried and overwhelmed all the time. The times were tough and joy was not so much at home there, but our family was pretty happy.  Everybody worked six days every week and I sensed that the most rejuvenated day for the adults around me was Saturday.

That was the time when people looked younger for one day.