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Today as I stepped into the waiting area at the physiotherapist, I found out of the three chairs, two were occupied. The one in the center was available. I debated whether to take it or not. My back, and legs too, urged me to go for it. Take it, woman! What are you waiting for?! But the part of the brain whose duty it is to warn you of lurking dangers, cautioned me. No, don’t! Physical distancing is the watchword, remember?

As I stood there uncertainly, not knowing whom to obey, the woman sitting in the chair to the right got up and indicated that I should take her seat. For a moment I was nonplussed. Why would she offer me her seat, I wondered. I think I even mumbled something like, Oh, no please. And then it struck me. She had noticed the grays. They are proliferating on my head and in the near future will have the numbers to form a government on their own.

It is still new to me, this deference to the grays, the respect for age in action. When it happens, it takes a minute for realization to dawn. You see, though I am older, somehow I have not yet realized that I am old enough to be offered seats. Wasn’t it like yesterday that I was doing the same for elders?! Today, after the initial surprise had subsided, I acknowledged the act with thanks – the smile that accompanied it was lost behind the mask that Covid 19 has imposed on us – and gratefully slipped into the vacated chair.

The gray zone has its benefits. The back and legs agree.

© Shail Mohan 2020

The doctor has decreed that the arm sling stays for another month. The posts shall remain short ….and hopefully sweet.