A RETIREE LIKE NO OTHER
Mike Noble was my agro personnel several years back and after reaching the compulsory age of retirement at 65 sometime 7 years ago, he was almost a recluse. But not for long. After a few months, he was back and as if he merely made an excuse, he was in the same league as those youthful and carefree workers of Davao Penal Colony. He would once again be riding his bike, spending night life in some unlighted nooks and drink to his heart’s desire. He had his share of age related ailments but after a few medication, he would return to his normal take in the world of blithe and cheerfulness.
I don’t know what drives the man. He was already in his mid 70s but he flexes as if he is still in his 40s.
The man walks without a gait, talks with a ready smile, engages a friend with confidence and exudes an air of machismo. His mind has retained the sharpness of someone from the academe and his knees are still steely and could withstand the pressure of motor biking. There are just some persons whose adrenalin never expires and Mike is one of them.
He never tires at all. He seems to be in perpetual motion. That probably explains his active lifestyle. Surprisingly, he has no sports. In the morning, he would merely loaf around, friends in tow and in a shaded area near the barangay hall; they would hold a day-long bantering. Retirees are keen on what is happening around them and years of immersion in the real world makes their pronouncements colored with wisdom and wit. Their laughters have basis and weight. Their assessments almost always border on being authoritative.
Mike literally subsists on his measly pension which according to him keeps his skin and bones together. Nothing is to be allocated to diversion and whatever savings accrued instantly loop around expenses for medication. If at all he wants to unwind, to taste the blood of an Englishman so to speak, he would just drop by a corner store, pluck some change and procure a half-a-glassful of shioktong, for it tastes and looks like wine nonetheless without the eyeglasses on. There are occasions when beer makes his day but he would rather fold it for his bike’s fuel.
In his twilight years but still moving around, even campaigning for his favorite personalities in an election which would take more years to come. He is that self-assured, poised even and positive that he would still be the same come that date. For people like him who is used to living up to the full age of 90—the average age of those whom he would refer to as his seniors— times are still worth spending.
Mike never saved time. He spent it outrageously. That probably is the reason why he still that active, even youthful and yes, a vigorous man of the world even when his counterparts in urban areas have surrendered already and have declared the period as a sign to fade away.