Interview with an Alien. By Kevin Hughes ( What a press conference might look like with a real Alien from another Planet.)

“Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press, distinguished visitors, and honored guests. We welcome all of you, and the thousands of media outlets covering this Historic Occasion, the first interview -ever- with someone not from our Planet. As you know, it was just nine days ago when the Advance Team from the Planet Poorfelllowio  (our pronunciation of it anyway) arrived on Earth. Having met with all the leaders of every country via some extraordinarily advanced technical wizardry – one of their Team, Zxlyllophenepreper, has agreed to answer questions you may have. Mr. Zxlyllophenepreper- the floor is yours!”

“Ahem. Thank you, kind sir, for your offer of the floor, I shall treasure it always. For your convenience, I shall leave it here, in place, until the proceedings are over.”

The crowd was aghast, the Alien was going to take the floor?!  Was this the first Intergalactic faux pas?

“That was a joke. I will not take the floor with me.”

The relief amongst the gathered throng was palpable. The laughter was as much out of relief, as for the joke itself.

“For the remainder of the interview, I would be greatly honored if you would just call me: “Bob.”  It would make it much easier on you than to call me by my name, which your kind host tried so hard to pronounce correctly. Bob, in our language, has become rather a hip name. We have no similar word in our language, and already, half the team has named their…again language has provided a gulf to big to confront, but it would be safe to say: Bob, will be the name of a lot of pets, plants, and children in the near future. So, please, call me: Bob.”

“Okay, BOB.” Everyone laughed. As an unknown voice yelled out of the throng.

“Bob, have you eaten at McDonald’s yet?”

The Alien Smiled.

“No. I haven’t. On my planet we eat meat.”

Stunned silence.

“That was another joke.”

This time, the laughter was real.

“Bob, I know this sounds slightly intrusive, and I don’t wish to offend you, but do you have sex on your planet?”

The Alien actually laughed out loud.

“Of course. On what other planet would we have it? We just found your people’s existence nine days ago. That would be a little quick for sex. Don’t you think? Maybe we should date a while? Get to know each other first?”

Another stunned silence.

“That wasn’t a joke, by the way. One really shouldn’t just jump into bed with the first Alien they see. ” Said Bob.

The audience laughed until they couldn’t breath. The Alien smiled.

“Do you have Television on your Planet?”

“Oh, no.  We are an educated race. We live our lives everyday, there is no reason to watch pretend reality.”

“Do you have pornography on your planet?”

Bob looked pensive,and for a second, it looked like he was going to ignore the question.

“No. We do not have porn. In fact, you may be the only race we have ever encountered that has what you call porn. We think it is because you watch to much TV , and live such sheltered lives, that you make sex partners into objects. We have people studying this already…and I must be honest, we aren’t sure how much to tell you about how we feel about this subject. ”

” Do you have murders?”

This time, Bob paused for a long, long, long, time, and a tear leaked out from under his eyes (Yes, a single tear, but multiple eyes. You have to see it to believe it.) When he spoke again, his voice trembled:

“No. We don’t. ”

“Why not? Are you some kind of liberal peace freaks?”

At that, several of the more liberal reporters started to shout at the right wing bigotry…until, Bob held up his hand:

“Please. Please stop right now. Even your bickering is almost enough to cause me to phase shift away. I am sorry, you don’t have the words again, but on our world, any non peaceful intent, whether physical, emotional, or social, would immediately cause us to phase shift away. There would be no one there to become…what is the word you have? Angry…yes, that is it, Angry. You must be very angry, and very weak to want to take the life force from someone. Like your porn, the rest of the known races, have no equivalent for this behavior. Murder…well, no we don’t murder anyone- ever. ”

“What about War?”

“What is with you people? Is violence all you care about?”

Bob stood unashamedly as more tears poured down his face. Even some of the reporters started to realize, Bob, was truly Alien to us.

“No! We care about God too! Some of us are Christians and dedicated to peace. Have you any Religion on your planet?”

At this, the Muslims, Catholics, Mormon’s, Jews, Buddhists, Mormons, Protestants of all kinds, and some fringe fundamentalists – broke out into several spats.

Bob called once again for quiet, and got it.

“We have no religions. I think your behavior just now showed why we don’t. ”

“So, you don’t have the Bible? You haven’t accepted Christ? How will you be saved?”

“Well, for one thing, we don’t die, we can be killed by accident, but we don’t die…and even were one of us to die…the life force can be absorbed by those who know how. It is hard to explain, and we have only been on your planet for nine of your days, but each of  our beings is – for your purposes, eternal. Not only eternal, but in fact, each of us carries all moments of our life as a single now. It is one of the things we hope to eventually share with your people.  I mean , after all, you gave us the Big Mac. We should give you something of equal value.”

Everyone laughed at this, and it took some of the sting out of what Bob had just said.

“How long are you going to stay on Earth?”

Bob smiled.

“As long as it takes.”

“WTF?”

 

 

 

Passages…six decades into my life, and the pattern starts over again…LOL The changes from year one thru ten, are equalled by the changes of 60 thru 70.

I think it was Gail Sheehey, who wrote a book called: Passages – way back in the early 70′s.  I didn’t agree with her then, even though I knew there were two big passages for females: Menarche, and Menopause. For men, well ejaculation…and balding. LOL

Now, however, I realize she was on the right path- each decade of life is in and of itself, a separate block of life. You get three decades in prime time, if you are lucky, you get two more decades of life to chill out, and that first decade of headlong rush into puberty.  Adding up to the proverbial three score and ten. Seven decades…and decade one and seven seem to be about equal mentally, and unfortunately, equal in the amount of physical changes in your body. Two, four, six , and eight, and ten years of age, are lightyears apart for most of us, and so is: sixty, sixty-two, sixty-four, sixty-six, sixty eight, and seventy! My friend Ed told me about this bookend theory of decades, but it took me until this year to appreciate how on the mark he was. You go down almost as fast as you went up!

The thing I want to focus on though, is this: Those first ten years of your life, you are learning, you are playing most of the time, and you barely care about the world outside your family, and are barely aware of most of those in your family too. LOL At sixty, the same thing happens. If you stop working, you start to play again, you start to hang out with just a few friends, you could care less about the rest of the world, bills, appointments, clothes, and a whole litany of other things. Your world becomes smaller in some ways, and big enough to fill your days in another. It is like being a kid again. You do what you want, when you want, you take many naps, and run full speed into the night. LOL  You don’t read newspapers, except for the funnies, you experiment with stuff to see if you can do it, or not. You only hang out with people you like, and you spend a whole day busy, but at the end of that day, for the life of you, you can’t remember doing anything of import, just a long, delicious day, filled with fun, and alone time, and play time, and some food and drink. Yep.

After age sixty, if you don’t have to work just to stay alive, or to pay for a place to live, each day becomes a Summer Vacation day of your youth. If you are working, I hope it is for either your passion for what you like doing, or because you get a sense of community for it. If you are working just to pay for stuff, I know what a grind that is, and wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Kathy and I live off of my Social Security, a small stipend, and her Minimum wage job, and we live well. No houses, one car, paid for, and a budget that lets us have the occasional day out. We don’t travel much, because we have been to forty eight states, forty nine countries, all the provinces of Canada, and all the States of Mexico, weekend trips are enough for us.

Because Kathy works, just that little bit gives us some wiggle room. For me, it provides the long Summer Vacation like days. I can’t believe the difference in my outlook on life, since turning sixty three- when I compare it to the Kevin who thought he had to become: Super at Sixty! I was 58 when I began that journey to be my definition of Super at Sixty. Now, at 63, I have left that Kevin way back in my past. He makes me smile. That Kevin needed validation, an excuse for not living life to the fullest, which, by the way, he thought was to be busy working, creating, being productive, and participating. Oh, the ways of the blissfully ignorant. Being alive, doesn’t need proof, validation, or activity for others to note. Nope. Sitting on a park bench, reading for your own pleasure (not a title to impress those who may sit next to you and ask: “What are you reading?” Kierkergaard ! LOL)  setting your book – or Kindle- down to watch a squirrel, or listening to see if you can tell what kind of bird it is, by listening to its song, and that funny smile you get , when you find the bird, and it IS the one you had in mind. Or, if you just suddenly lose yourself to a memory of another bench, with your younger self, and a partner…you can smell her, feel her skin, hear her laugh, and the joyfree feeling of an unlimited future in front of you. You can see the both of you, and hear the laughter and see the smiles, and giggles- but, the words are gone. Only the gist remains, like the haunting moment at the end of a beautiful song, where the music has stopped, but not its effects.

Maybe minutes go by, maybe hours, who knows? Who cares? For a few moments, you were ten again, or sixteen, or twenty three, or thirty seven, or forty nine…and what bubbles up, comes unbidden, with only strong emotions and no judgement to slur the feelings. A breakup with a loved one, becomes bitter sweet, and accepted. A kind word gets remembered, and you thank them- again. A softness of a quiet head on your shoulder, providing warmth, love, contentment, and safety…keeps the words from forming that would break the spell. Until a squirrel, a squeal , or a chirp, or even the dip of your own head, brings you back to the now. You get up from the bench, and you walk…still smiling. Your Mother’s voice doesn’t call you home, but if you really wanted to, you could hear her as you got to see what is for supper.

Summertime, in the Winter of life. Oh yeah Ms. Sheehey, there are passages!

I have been asked what I have learned that I could share as advice now that I am closing it all down…so, here are a few thoughts.

It is your life. Listening to other folks on the right way to live it, has stopped many of us from having lived it fully.

At the end of it all, the most frightening, haunting, and unpleasant realizations will be about the things you didn’t do…even worse, you may be in that awful place, where looking back is all you can do- with nothing to look forward too.

Loving someone, some thing, or some idea, or some kind of work- is the key to passion in life. If you can’t wait to get up and do, see, or feel, something- well, you are living at full throttle.

Happiness, isn’t stuff.

Hard work is its own reward. Those are not my words, some great writer of the past wrote those. In spite of my dismay at how much the “Protestant Work Ethic” has invaded and erased our private lives- hard work is still the best cure for everything from depression to boredom. The challenge is to work that hard at something that doesn’t seem like work to you. LOL Artists often find themselves in this position, as do Engineers, programmers, Mom’s, Dad’s, and funnily enough, almost all children at “play.”

If you get the chance, ask her to dance.

Most people who critique you, or your lifestyle, will not have done what you are doing, or lived as well. In my experience, as a general rule, people who tell you how unsafe it is to travel, haven’t done any traveling.

You don’t have to be famous, to leave a mark in this world.

Learning to live in the now, is probably the most difficult skill to master.

Kiss them all, until you find the one that makes you kiss the rest off. LOL

There are a few other things I want to point out: It really is all about love. The hardest person to love, and to forgive- is yourself. If you want to have good mental health- learn to like yourself, and treat yourself, as if YOU  were your own best friend. That little voice that chatters in your head, should be a cheerful, honest, and encouraging voice. One that can scold you without malice, and praise you without embarrassment. It should be the Voice you would imagine God would talk to you with. Pure love unbridled with and agenda.

This last thing- choice is always yours. Not making a choice, is choosing. Quitting is often the right thing to do, but not if it is done often. LOL

If it hurts someone if you say it- don’t. The only exception is : “Good bye.” Why? Because sometimes, you just have to leave. It is over. Or it is time to move on. No matter how painful that moment might be for the other person, sometimes, you just have to say : “So long.” If they are dead, and you say bad things about them, remember that when you die. LOL

I used to think that everyone was doing their best, with what they knew at the time- late in life, I have discovered that most of us never even come close to our best, and we are lucky if there were two times in our life, where we gave it our all. Where we gave every effort we had in us, where we sat, exhausted, with nothing held back. In a mountain of opportunity, most of us stayed on the flatland.

Okay, here is my last comment; there is no wrong or right way to do anything. Only, and I repeat this, only things that worked, and some that didn’t. Finding ways to do something leads to many ways to do something. Value judgements stop you from experimenting, and believe me, your life is an experiment. Nobody but you gets to try it. LOL Hugs, Kevin at home.

There is a time for all things, and this time, it is the end time for my blog. More years and posts than I would have imagined, but now, it is off into the night …fading…fading….gone. LOL

Hey Gang,

Well, if you read any of my posts over the last decade, I thank you, both for the original blog – and for the now four year old, Superatsixty Blog. I am not renewing my domain name, or blog title, or any of the little bells and whistles that go with it. It will, like me someday, simply expire. Yep. It is over.

I found myself venting more, and more, and then more than that…and that wasn’t my intent. I had to let go. I did. There is beauty, peace and contentment in simplicity- so I have chosen to simply stop. LOL  All the things that bothered me , from TV, or Facebook, or youtube, are now gone. I shall write emails, which have become as rare, and about as welcome , as old style letters. In fact, I am even going to take some handwriting courses, in hopes of writing actual letters, to folks who shall read them-hopefully.  The world is passing me by, and believe me, like the trains of my youth, I shall wave at it as it goes by, and then go back to what I was doing.

There were many moments in this blog, where I felt connected, and some, well, where I teetered on the edge of being profound. I was often silly, and more often amazed by people, ideas, or thoughts. I am proud of this blog, and some of the things I wrote. Oh, not all. Some were beyond mediocre, even badly written, or worser. LOL On the other hand, I got to tell some neat stories, share some thoughts, and peel away the onion of my life. It was good for me, this blog. I shall go quietly into the night…as the opening of many a story goes…fading not as much with time, as with memory.

For those readers who truly supported me, I thank you. For those of you worried for, or about me- set your mind at ease. I am , the most content, relaxed, and dare I say: happiest, I have been in my sixty three years. In fact, this year, my 63d one on this planet, leaves me feeling Super At Sixty.

Hugs to all, Kevin Hughes

Wilmington, NC  September 2014

Shakespeare written in Tweets…LOL

U r  2 daughters are bitches, one’s nice.

My favorite will love me more, even though I am old

Nope. The 2 bitches will fool you.

Damn… my eyes!

Oh look, a French King and an Army.

The Evil Bitches win.

Did they kill the good sister?

Yeah, one evil sister killed her other evil sister, who then died when she found out the guy they both loved (Edmund) died.

Wow. What happened to the king?

Oh, he died when he saw the good sister,(his favorite daughter)  who always loved him, was already dead- she was executed before Emund’s order to kill her could be rescinded.

Oh, bad timing.

Yep.

WTF? They all Died? ALL?!

Well, Edgar , the Noble son, he lived and became King of Britain.

Wow. What a dysfunctional family.

Yeah, kinda makes you feel sad.

But it is a LOVE STORY.

Love story? WTF!

The end.

 

Wow, it is so fast out there, that a New York Minute is now four tenths of a picosecond. LOL Minute oats take three seconds, and this blog is already to long for the average reader…LOL

I have fallen for this : “just give me the answer!” mentality my self.  I used to complain that articles in most magazines have gone from as many as 20 pages, down to five or six – tops. Now, I find myself reading a three page article and thinking to myself:

“The Author could have said this in less than a paragraph. ” I guess I don’t need the details anymore. LOL I read an awful lot of Science and Non-Fiction articles, and , well…you need the whole story. Even then I find that unless the article is very interesting- I scurry for the box that has the main points bulleted out. I only rarely check appendices anymore.

Even my video clips about science or the weather, have become 30 seconds or less. What has happened to me? I wonder what my attention span is now? What do you do when most texts are five words, email is almost gone, and if you do write an email, it should be less than a paragraph. Ever see those screen shots of someone’s text conversations? 20 comments and only 43 words? Oh, My, Gosh. Sorry; OMG. LOL

I even fall for the hyperbole, and the tweets about Lazy Mom’s- since they set it up by saying: “This trainer’s techniques are making Mom’s Mad…” What techniques could they be? Turns out, he called Mom’s …”Fat and Lazy.” Because they are to tired to work out after a day with the kids. Funnily enough, he doesn’t have kids. LOL

So, that’s it. We are done for today. Over. BRB later….LOL

What a year…and a year of WTF? LOL Retiring isn’t an event, it is a process.

 

Hey Gang,

      It was a year ago today that I first talked to the Banks about the houses,so we could downsize and started that long process. It was only three months before that, when I found out I was going to have to retire. Now, after spending almost an entire year finding out who I am, and how I got to be here…I find I am still thinking and changing.

  I found out I wasn’t immune to stress. I found out I really don’t want to work again. I found out a lot about my past…and figured out most of it. I found that I wanted certain people in my life, and others, well, I wish them well. I have found a measure of peace that I never knew was possible, and I have become if not a simpleton, a very simple person.  I have come to accept that I am old, but not that my life is over. LOL

  I have few wants anymore, and even fewer needs. My challenges are child’s play – especially to the very real challenges I used to face just to work. LOL I still have a bit of travel left in me, mostly by car, and mostly within a few states. LOL  I have some bridges to rebuild, if I can. If I can’t, well, I shall have to build a small temple to them that they can see from their side of the bridge. LOL

  I have found much intellectual satisfaction. Not a driving need to know anymore, just a constant flow of some form of knowledge. My desire to “prove” myself to other people, or be validated by them, or even to need their approval, is gone. I am what I am. The ones who truly like, or love me, or both…well, they can handle that. I kinda have learned to like me. My days of impressing anyone with any skill, talent,  or quality,  I may have…are over. I am simply – me. An overweight, balding, white haired man, who had a heck of a life. And still does.

  Yep. What a year. In two weeks, my birthday. I have one friend, whom I – in my rapid fire revelations about my own crooked mind thoughts- managed to alienate – I wrote a note begging forgiveness. If that isn’t answered on my birthday…the bridge won’t be burned from my side, but planted with flowers and small fountains, to make it a place of beauty, should they ever decide to cross over. There will be no guard, no gates, I shall leave the bridge open to cross whenever their time line allows. No one I care about, is ever shut out of  my life.

  I have lost the ability to like war in any way. Planes and ships that used to awe me, make me feel sorry for their necessity now. For crying out loud, I took my wife on our honeymoon to a Civil War Battlefield. Now, and for years now, I can’t step onto any battlefield , of any country, without feeling sad that we haven’t learned. On my recent trip, I went by all the major battlefields of our Civil War…and stopped at none. Not one. I had to stop my weekly updates of the Great War ( World War One) for the toll of human misery quickly overwhelmed me. I have even stopped reading three of my favorite Sci Fi authors…not because their writing has dropped off, but simply because I can’t deal with the violence, political intrigue, and deceit displayed in their award winning books.

  TV, as you know, disgusts me most of the time. So, in just a year, I have separated myself from a lot of things of “meaning”, that are now, at least to me, meaningless. I wish the world to be full of love, of joy, of purpose and real achievement. I am almost a prototypical 1960′s love child, or hippy. LOL

Sans bus, and still take showers.

  I know this was a long letter, but it has been a long year…but a quickly passing one too. Like almost everything us humans do, it seems like a contradiction, but isn’t. It seems yin and yang, are built into our very beings.

I am happy. I am alive. I am at peace. Just doing the best I can, to avoid being drawn back into the world I left behind.

  Smiles to all, and even though I am turning 63, I have the body of a 62 year old. LOL

 

A few sentences…very few. Things I will never be….

Here are some things I will never be:

Perfect.

Younger.

Who you think I am.

Who you want me to be.

Who I think I should have been.

To old to learn.

To smart to make a mistake.

To old to love.

To stupid to forgive.

To afraid to learn.

Sure I am right.

That’s enough to never be for one night. LOL

short sentences…all in a row….all for fun…and all I know. LOL

There may be more than one Universe, that should change love songs that limited themselves to :”You are my world.”

I once heard a garbage collector say: “Thank God for all this beautiful trash.”

I once heard a girl say: ” I hope I still think I’m pretty, when I am not.”

“When flowers die, do they shine in heaven?” Overheard by a kid in a flower shop.

“Do you suppose winter is to make us stop using cars?” From a five year old nephew.

“Everybody has a mom, not everyone has a mommy.”  A sign written by a first grader.

“I know she doesn’t love you, she slept with you.”  Told to a friend of mine, when we were in our 20′s.

” I never cease wondering at how much wonder there is out there.” Me. LOL

“If someone loves you, loved you, or wants to love you, you are a success.”

“Money pays the bills, and buys stuff. Everything that means something, is free, or nearly so. Somehow we forget that.” Me. Again. LOL

” You go where you go, until you get what you got, and when you get to where you got, you got there by going where you went. ”  Me…again. LOL

“I love you.”  There is no better ending than that.

Looking at youth, I am glad I was young…once.

One of my friends posted a picture of his daughter and himself wearing mustaches – both of them have a half smirk, half smile under said mustaches,  both have a twinkle in their eyes. It shows, not only the closeness of Family, but , captures the differences between youth, and being young at heart. You are only young once, you can be youthful -attitude wise- your whole life. Your skin, and the rest of you too, will acquire the patina of age. Youth doesn’t have that lived in look yet. Experience, time, and life, haven’t rounded the corners, or softened the glow, nor have any of the working parts fallen into disrepair. LOL

When I hold my Grandchildren, their skin is so soft, very smooth, with nary a wrinkle. That holds true up until your early 20′s. By 30, time, sun, and weather, start to make some inroads on the outside wrapper. The same is going on inside, but most of us don’t realize, or notice that. We concentrate on the wrapper. LOL  When I see teenagers playing outside…I know, it is a fairly rare sight nowadays, but, still, I do see them every once in a while, and they are athletic even if they are not athletes. To do some of the modern dance moves, well, those used to be done by Professionals. When I see the skateboarders, or the Parcour runner/jumpers, I marvel at the control, balance, timing, and physical strength and endurance they display. Any one of their numerous falls, would put some one my age in a hospital. They however, get up, shake it off, or walk it off, and start over. One of the major lessons in life acted out right in front of you…if you fail, get up, try again. Repeat as often , or as long, as it takes to get it right. Marvelous.

I was in the grocery store the other day, when a gaggle of females came in – all of them thin, fit, and tanned. They ran in age from about 16 to mid forties. As pretty as those 30 and 40 year olds were, they couldn’t compare to the younger ones. Youth just stood out. It has a glow like that new car look, yet, the older women were more interesting – in a way. Physically, we aren’t built to compete with young folks, but mentally we can hold our own. As one of my friends says: “Eye candy is nice, but give me a woman who can make me laugh, make me think, and makes me feel good about myself- and I will marry her on the spot!”  Funnily enough, he did meet her, and married her, not quite on the spot, it took almost a month. LOL Years later, well, she still makes him laugh, still makes him think, and still makes him feel good about himself.  I know it sounds like My Kathy and I, in that sentence, but it isn’t. As you know I proposed the night I met her. A year later we were married. 34 years ago this month.

She thinks her outer beauty has faded (as she says: “Women become invisible at fifty.” ) not to me. Her inner beauty is blazing now. She is more confident, competent, and contented than ever. She is a a flower in full bloom. I have lost much of my physical beauty and power too. Yet, because I am male, it is a different path. For with money, power, or fame, Males can still attract young mates. Women both exploit and hate that. LOL  Men lose a lot of their physical powers, and positional powers, so our path to longing for our youthful selves, is a different one.

Here is the real surprise, especially in our highly hyped, youth oriented, impossible figure and facial standards, and commercial mainstream society:

Most folks I know wouldn’t trade who they are now to be young again, if they couldn’t keep their minds as they are. Most folks like who they are now, whatever happened in their lives, they want to hold all of those memories, experiences, and successes and failures. The lost loves, the kept loves, the hurt and joys of a lifetime- they savor now. Emotions that used to boil over, simmer now, becoming just a tangy sauce of a life well lived. Youth, as they say, is for the young. Being youthful in outlook, delight, and love…is for the ages. All ages.