Just a Kid

One’s concept of old and young seem to change as the years pass. I remember when I was very young asking my aunt how old she was. I think she was in her forties, but she answered, “Twenty-nine.” Then she and my mother laughed. I had no idea what the joke was. To me, back then, twenty-nine was unfathomably old. And now? Unfathomably young.

For many years, I looked young for my age, so the one time I asked for a senior discount that was advertised, I thought there might be a problem proving I was old enough, but the clerk (just a kid) told me she’d already given it me. What a come down that was! I never bothered asking for a discount again; I didn’t think my ego could handle it.

Now I do look my age, even to my age-adjusted eyes. Even if I didn’t look old, I’d know I was because people seem so dang young. I watch the news sometimes with the lady I help care for, and it seems to me that people reading the news are a bunch of children playing at being newscasters. They’re not that young, from mid-thirties to early forties but still, they look like kids to me. But then, to the woman I care for, I look young. “You’re just a kid,” she tells me.

Not that it matters, really. I once was young, and now I’m not. It’s all part of the cycle of life.

Oddly, unlike my aunt, I never told anyone I was twenty-nine. Even when I was twenty-nine, I doubt I told anyone my age. The topic just doesn’t come up. Or perhaps other people aren’t as rude as I was when I was young. Come to think of it, I don’t know what prompted me to ask my aunt her age. I really wasn’t at all rude when I was young. I’m not rude now that I’m not young, either.

This last part has nothing to do with age, but is a follow-up to my water meter dilemma. The meter reader was just here. He checked the meter, and says it’s working fine, that I have no leaks though somehow the meter shows another 4,000 gallons used in the past three weeks, which is impossible. Normally, one person uses about 3,000 gallons a month, and that includes, all indoor and some outdoor water usage, which is what I use in the summer. But it’s winter, and in the winter, I use half of that amount.

I suppose this is more proof that I’m not just a kid anymore; if I were, I wouldn’t have to deal with this mess.


Pat Bertram is the author of intriguing fiction and insightful works of grief.

6 Responses to “Just a Kid”

  1. Estragon Says:

    An easy way to rule out the toilet(s) as a potential cause would be to put a bit of food coloring in the tank and let it sit for ~15 minutes. If the water in the bowl turns color, there’s a leak – likely in the flapper valve.

    Sometimes the leak is just a bit of crud preventing the flapper from closing all the way to seal properly. Sometimes the flapper itself gets worn and/or brittle and leaks. Either way, the wasted water just goes straight to the sewer, often without any obvious sound or visual clues. The flapper is cheap and easy to replace if that’s the problem.

    Having begun to go grey in my late 20s – early 30s, I’ve been described as an old man for a long time. Even so, it does feel wrong somehow to ask for the seniors discount!

  2. Uthayanan Says:

    Pat please check by error have you let open even a little one of your faucet somewhere in your house. It happened to me one of my shower not very well closed but with less damage.
    There must be some leaks somewhere please check every faucet in your house without any exception. When you are living alone mistakes happen unintentionally.
    Please don’t blame yourself simply check.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      If there is a leak, I think it’s buried outside. It’s an intermittent leak meaning that when he checked for leaks, there weren’t any, though obviously, there is a problem. And I just went and checked all my faucets again. All are shut tightly.

      • Uthayanan Says:

        Another suggestion :
        At home when I have to change a joint of a faucet which leaking I can shut the water system to repair. If you have the same facility and you are free to manage without water usage for half a day and check your outside meter continue to work when there is no snow. If your meter continue to count for water usage or activity then it is for sure there must be a leak outside between your meter and your house. Or there is problem with your meter with mechanical, electrical or electronic activity.

        • Pat Bertram Says:

          Thanks for the suggestion. It might take more than a few hours. The meter reader was here for about thirty minutes, and in that time, the meter only recorded the test gallon of water that we ran through the faucet.

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