Old and underway

“I say to you, sir, when I detect that superior look of youth in your eye, that you are wrong: I am not, even now, different from you.  I am as young and stubborn—except for a certain sclerosis of tissue and thought, except for an overt appearance of the hide, which sags and flaps in the wind, except for the bloodshot eyes and the dirty, careless dribblings of egg and whiskey on my shirt bosom and moustache.  I am as young, sir, as you.  I do not feel any different: I still desire—I still know the look of the rosy young flesh of a young girl.  Men were young in my day, too, sir.  Men were poets in my time, sir.  And by the Almighty God, young fellow, they aspired to glory and knowledge and art for art’s bloody sake just as much and with as fine a passion as any of you.  Do not forget that, young man.  We were just as dashing a set of young blades as any of you.” – Joseph Stanley Pennell, The History of Rome Hanks and Kindred Matters