Hoover Dam, Photo U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

Hoover Dam, Photo U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

There’s no margin in going with the flow. Going with the flow just gets you downstream with all the other leaves and branches too weak to hold their own.

It’s effortless, though. I’ll say that much. Going with the flow is easy. You just sit down in your big inner tube, lean back and look at the sky. The river will do the rest. You just relax and, you know, go with the flow.

Go with the flow was big when I was young. We were all going with the flow then except those of us who couldn’t afford to or for whom the flow wasn’t all that welcoming. There was a lot of male-defined and controlled flowing when I was younger, if you get my drift, so sometimes it took a fair amount of effort to get in the flow in the first place, much less go with it.

But it’s cool. It’s cool, baby. Those days are long gone.

Now the flow is in a different river. I am old and getting older, 68 in about a month, an age precariously close to what is authentically old, not likely to get its own ’70 is the new 50′ meme. Seventy is 70. And so the flow beckons. Go with the flow, I tell myself. Go with the flow, my friends say. Enjoy yourself. Just go where the river takes you.

So I think about that, how easy it is to do. On those days, I wear sensible shoes and layers of sweaters. I want to start signing up for things especially for seniors, decide I should go audit college courses, be the cute grey lady in the back of the room, maybe try for class pet. Never mind that I am degreed up, as they say, and have done my time sitting still listening to people talk, consulting their notes yellow from use and irrelevancy. Do I yearn for knowledge? What is it I yearn for?

As soon as I start thinking this, I wake up with a start.

Where are your balls? I ask myself. You are always losing your balls and then you have to go chasing them down the street. You own those damn balls, it took forever to get them. Why are you letting them careen down the street as if you no longer want them? Go get your fucking balls.

So that’s what I did today. I ran down the street and got my balls back. And then I decided that I needed a different plan.

My plan isn’t going to be to go with the flow. Screw going with the flow.

My plan is going to be to jam the flow.

I’m building myself a dam.

I’m building a big beautiful dam, a dam that will be a marvel of vision and engineering, a dam people will come from miles around to admire, a dam that will say that my age does not make me weak and at the mercy of the river’s currents.

No. I’m not going with the flow. Not now. Maybe never.

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Written in response to a WordPress Daily Post one word prompt: Flow.