Tom Thumb (Aging Sucks)

I was minding my own business on a glorified version of a stationery bike at the YMCA while I played Words With Friends on my iPhone. Suddenly, a very old man approached me and in a raspy voice said, “I’d like to introduce myself! I’m Tom Thumb.” That’s weird, I thought, we have a grocery store chain here in Texas called Tom Thumb and isn’t that also a character in some kind of fable or fairytale?

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“I’m Andrea Thompson.” I said, and put out my hand.

“You’re always in black!” he growled.

“No, that’s not accurate,” I replied, “I’m often in black but I also wear my very bright tennis tops.”

“Once!” he almost shouted, “I’ve only seen you in blinding neon pink once!” Now, I knew something peculiar was going on and while I have my allotment of fears, people don’t scare me and I try to roll with them so I just hung in there.

“Wow, sounds like you’ve been keeping a pretty close eye on me, Tom Thumb.” I said.

“Well, you’re an attractive gal; are you married?” Yeah, he is 30 some odd years older than my 56 years so to his aging eyes I probably looked ravishing even though I was wearing black.

“That’s a very nice thing to say, Tom, and yes, I am very married.” I said. He suddenly looked distant, muttered something I didn’t hear and wandered away. I went back to my Words With Friends.

A couple weeks later I was working out with my trainer Karen and Tom Thumb walked by and blurted something incoherent to her.

“That’s Tom,” she said, “he had a stroke and he doesn’t have boundaries.”

“Yeah, I noticed that,” I said quietly. I felt sad for Tom Thumb.