I cough. Is that it? Is it THE cough that keeps on giving until you’re dead? Or is it just an allergy cough?

I won’t get tested or accept the phantom vaccine. It’s probably too late.

Question: Answer yes or no. Is weight loss a symptom of COVID-19? Didn’t Dr. Fauci mention weight loss?

My youngest tells me I’ve not lost any weight, just collagen. “You need collagen,” she writes.

“You could have it injected in your cheeks and lips, so you don’t lose your youthful chin line.”

I don’t care about my chin line, but I definitely don’t want thin lips like “Church Lady” Mitch McConnell.

Is it vain to be concerned about my youthful chin line when people are getting sick and dying every day from COVID? Is it really better to look good than feel good?

This is the topic of conversation among octogenarians (those in the advanced stages of late middle age). There are discussion groups starting up and the hottest topic is: IS IT TOO LATE?

Our lives are fraught with tiny, itching questions now. Is it too early for flu shots or too late?

That covers everything, as in, “Did I go before I left?”

I ask a question no one wants to answer: If masks truly prevent the virus from getting us, then they also must stop colds, normal flu, etc?

Send me your answer.

Surely, for my group, it’s too late to buy a new home, a silver service, a yellow convertible or start an IRA or stamp collection. Is new underwear out of the question? But there are other “too late” things.

For example: Too late for an online class in Irish step dancing, or planning a winter’s cruise to New Zealand, buying a life insurance plan?

How about getting our house painted? It’s peeling terribly in the back, but it’s only visible to my closest neighbor, and he’s a Republican and is focusing on the 2020 golf open and the new Supreme Court candidate.

Out front no one can see from down below, and what would the talk be?

“Look at old J.P’s house. He’s really let himself go, first his nose and ear hairs, and now his house.”

I have 15 masks now in all colors and designs — floral, political, social statements. So should I bother to have my teeth cleaned any more? Should I even waste money on breath fresheners or aftershave, expensive cologne? If I’m close enough for someone to say, “You have terrible breath,” then it would be too late for both of us.

Lawn care. Who cares if the autumn leaves pile up? They’ll still be there in the spring. But will we? That autumn glow. Is it the changing leaves or the fog of death coming down the street? I could add another mask, close the doors and windows, but I know, alas, it’s probably too late.

I leave you with this happy thought from Wendy Liebman:

“I think it’s never too late to start anything, except maybe being a ballerina.” Don’t sell those slippers yet.

J.P. Devine is a Waterville writer. 


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