Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Last Old Man

Andy said I should add some "content" to his blog. I'm not sure exactly what he wants, so here's a story I started a few years ago, but never finished:

He wasn’t really the last.
There were, in fact, a handful of people still alive that were older than him. A fraction of those, as well as a few born after, had also chosen not to undergo the procedures that would erase the ravages of time, but he was the most famous; the only one actually referred to as The Old Man. Some said it with reverence, most with derision, but all used it as a proper name: The Old Man.

The yellowed, brittle newspaper clipping he had been using for a bookmark fluttered to the floor as The Old Man opened the book. He had a name of course - Dr. Jared Winkle - but even he referred to himself as The Old Man. With only a few wisps of snow-white hair on his head and a wrinkled, clean-shaven face, he appeared to be in his early eighties. But he was much, much older.

He bent slowly to retrieve the clipping, grimacing even before he felt the twinge in his back, so accustomed to it was he. His hand pressing against the cold metal of the desk to support himself as he straightened, The Old Man held the clipping almost at arm’s length so he could read the small print. An ironic smile spread across his face as he suddenly recalled why he had kept that particular clipping in that particular book.

It was an editorial, published in the early 21st century, warning of the problems that would arise because the number of people that would be retiring within the next twenty or thirty years was much greater than the number of people that would be entering the workforce.

His smile faded as his eyes wandered across the room to the picture of himself on the opposite wall, and his mind wandered back to the memory of that picture being taken.

The picture showed The Old Man smiling triumphantly as he received the Nobel Prize in medicine. He was an old man even in the picture, but although it had been taken only a few years after the article in his hand had been published – and many years had passed since then – he looked exactly the same as he did in the picture. He looked exactly the same, because he had won the Nobel Prize for discovering the ‘cure’ for aging.


  1. Not exactly what I had in mind, but I guess it works.

  2. Good story. I wanted a little more--like how did he really feel about having created the cure. Was he sad, angry or satisfied? I think you could do a lot with this.


  3. And now he's cursed to be old forever. How ironic! Good read, thanks.