I was walking trough the streets of Paris, when I saw this old man in front of his garage door. While loud Edith Piaf music was playing, he invited me in and showed me his little museum/paradise. I could smell cheap whisky and he jumped from one topic to another like a bird on speed, but he was sweet and harmless.
I’ve met crazy seniors on my travels before. They are rather rare, but they do intrigue me, these brave, free souls on the loose. You don’t always know if they are locals, or if they’re traveling somewhere (or nowhere..). They live from one crazy impulse to another. It usually gives me a reason to poke my friend or smile at a stranger and say: ” How crazy is she?” But to be perfectly honest, I’m a bit jealous, too. They don’t care what others think, they are just kids, trapped in an old overcoat.
I remember Toto, at a beach party in Biarritz, who found it hilarious to keep pulling his underpants off – and so did the crowd. Or tiny Monsieur Arnaud in San Sebastian, who stared at the sea for hours with a balloon in his hand. And the very old English hippie lady in India, singing and screaming “Om Shanti Om” in the middle of the street.
Of course, there are different grades of dementia, and there are aggressive types. I confess I’m not an expert, and I don’t want to glorify sick people. I can imagine it’s not all that fun when you realize your favourite grandmother is not doing well.
I just wonder: how does life makes sense, when you’ve lost your mind? And if you or others can’t see the humor? I’m getting crazier every minute, and I’m quite sure I’ll become this twisted bag lady, trotting the world in a Teletubbie outfit. No hospitals, no retirement home. A nice little place in Southern Europe, feet in the water, fishing for cats, singing Bob Marley.. That would do just fine.