i've come to the conclusion that some of my best conversations take place while i ride in the back of d.c. cabs. whether it's talking about what it's like in a driver's country of origin (drivers from Sudan and i always have lots to talk about), or hearing tales of wild riders coming from adams morgan, or getting advice on my love life and the value of marriage...i'm always engaged and entertained.
i had another interesting conversation with a driver a couple weeks ago.
it was a short ride up connecticut avenue, as i was trying to make up lost time and save my feet from aggravation. the driver and i somehow got on the topic of age. most strangers tend to think i'm several years younger than i am, and we talked about that for a bit. the driver brought up the fact that age is really all relative (and no, this wasn't a set up for a bad pick-up line). that if you're 35, but going to live until you're 94, it's pretty accurate to call you "young." but if you're 13-years-old and going to die at age 17, you're actually pretty "old."
and this conversation reminded me of words i'd heard before. at Jarronn's memorial service, from the mouth of our pastor.
when Jarronn turned 29 (the same age i turned on friday), he was old. far, far older than he realized. far older than any of us realized. the understanding of this frequently bothers me. that he was so unaware of his mortality and his limited time. i try to consider whether knowing death is near is better or worse, and i can't come to any solid conclusion. but it does seem that having a better awareness of your "actual" age, might bring special opportunities to live a certain way, to say certain things, to tend to certain details.
last week my age increased, but i still have no idea if i'm young or old. i guess few of us really do. the question is...if i knew, would i do anything differently?