Almost fifty, I’m hoping to have some sort of control over what kind of annoying elderly person I’ll become.
I’m planning on telling stories about my woodpile.
There are pieces of wood in the woodpile that predate me owning my home. They are relics. There are small scraps from each and every renovation stacked neatly next to the house.
Each year I buy new wood to burn.
Each year, I save a few pieces from the year or two before.
I’m amassing a collection of dry and brittle sticks.
Each time I move these pieces of wood, I’m reminded of what was going on last year when I moved them. Or the year before. Or during the time I decided to save them for later.
This woodpile is more than a pile of wood. It’s a stack of stories wrapped up in labour.
I imagine that as I age, I’ll corner unsuspecting young parents, struggling with a child in one arm and their dinner in the other. I’ll be carrying some old wood from the woodpile. I’ll launch into stories about my woodpile. I’ll recount stories of the neighbourhood.
I’ll ‘miss’ their social cues.
They’ll listen to my stories even though they’d rather be doing anything else.
And after each story has been inflicted or shared - depending on the person, I’ll go inside and burn one of those old pieces of wood.
And after each fire, I’ll spread the ashes in my garden.
No one will know but me.