It wasn’t as if I intended to start my golden years early. Several decades early. But I had free time. All dressed up in a tweed jacket and vintage tie. All dressed up and no place to go. Except the thrift stores, antique shops and second-hand bookstores. So I wandered around town.
The antique shop was like any other antique shop. Loads of crap piled on cabinets, tables and bookshelves. Some of it was interesting crap. I hardly ever see a genuine straw skimmer anymore. I want one, but I didn’t want to pay $70 for one that was too small. So I kept looking. I found the cane in an umbrella stand. I didn’t need it. Still don’t. But I liked twirling it casually by the crooked handle. So I got it. For $7. Too bad the skimmer didn’t work out.
Then I was off down the street to the used bookstore. I twirled my cane as I went. God knows I don’t need more books. I have more than I can possibly read or store right now. But that never stops me. Fortunately for me, the bookstore was running low on quality literature. But I snap up anything I can find by John D. MacDonald. I love Travis McGee, but MacDonald’s other stuff is equally good. This was a non-McGee book called A Key to the Suite. For $2.50. Sold.
I tucked the book into my jacket pocket and strolled down the street twirling my cane. It occurred to me that I had jumped the gun. I was a little young to be a tweedy cane-carrier. With a book more than 50 years old, no less. But I wasn’t too concerned. The time will come. I’ll need a cane. And I’ll still be a gent with a necktie and a book in his pocket. Just an old gent by then. Might as well practice.