It has come to pass that the mariner is preparing for that isolated but pleasantly benign part of life called the very old. Finally. It will be a relief. He has grown weary if not traumatized by the unending crassness, abuse, greed, enmity, and ignorance of Homo sapiens. He will not care whether we first kill ourselves through destruction of the global ecosystem or have so many specimens that many will take to living under water or in space.
The mariner will no longer ponder the irrationality of finding ways to keep H. sapiens alive for more and more years without providing income and a place in the workforce, curing dementia and diet, and eliminating the side effects of a good twenty dollar Cuban. An entertaining thought to the mariner is that when everyone can genetically select the perfect fetus, all women will look like Amy Adams or Halle Berry; all men will look like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Derek Jeter. Even more stultifying is the holy nature of childbirth without holy euthanasia on the other end. Love thy neighbor will be very important when there are twelve billion H. sapiens climbing all over each other. The mariner no longer worries. It will be irrelevant.
The mariner has quit television. None of it is important; all of it is ill-reported, and the entertainment deliberately avoids everyone over sixty and anyone with a modicum of functional intelligence.
The mariner has chronic back pain. For years he has taken a fistful of anti-seizure medications leaving him wandering about with little more focus than a zombie. There is no chance a grand mal is in his future. Since the chronic back pain persists in spite of prescribed remedies, the mariner will trash medications and at least be able to complete simple tasks.
The mariner is going off the grid as much as possible. No intensely monitored loans, no intensely monitored mortgages, no intensely monitored credit cards, no intensely monitored browsing on the Internet. Checks if he has to otherwise cash only. Only his assets will be visible – to everyone. It is not the government he fears; it is nosy fee lice that wander the Internet clouds seeking to bleach his privacy into nonexistence. It’s no one’s business which car he will buy next. A perfect retreat would be somewhere in Costa Rica – totally nameless.
The mariner will fulfill his desire to sail in warmer waters than are available in most of the United States. Winter is no time to be above the sub-tropic zone (20°N). He is still puzzled that early ancestors thought walking into snow and subfreezing temperatures was a good thing to do.
The mariner is selling his sixteen-foot sailboat because there is no decent water within which to sail it.
Even now, the computer is turned on less frequently. Email response may be slower than the Pony Express. The cell phone has always been worthless. A rotten log receives a better signal.
What’s left are home flower gardens and landscaping in season. Someone else will make home repairs. Finally, all there will be is visiting family, and most importantly, discovering new ways to be an unabridged H. sapiens.
So, to quote a trite phrase, “So long, farewell, aufweidersehen goodbye.”
Ancient Mariner signing off.