Around the World With a Vagabond

Why I Will Live to be 100 October 26, 2010

Filed under: Stories For My Brother,Why I Will Live to Be 100 — christynichols @ 12:18 am
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People have always told me that it’s important to have goals.  Most of the time they were talking about securing a spouse and a house, and probably a good job.  At the moment, I have none of those things, and am nowhere near achieving them, so I have a different goal.


It’s always better to have goals that you are already accidentally half-way to reaching anyway, to help boost confidence and keep a positive feeling. I regularly drink green tea, drink red wine, eat my salads, and indulge in honey.  And I yoga.


These are all good healthy things to do in moderation, and after I thought about what good they were all for, I came to one conclusion that ultimately gave me my life goal:


I am going to live to be 100.


And, I am going to keep living my life in such a way that when I am old and have lost my mind, my glasses, and my teeth, I can keep myself entertained by reliving vicariously through my own youth.


My unwillingness to give up any of the above and an uncannily ferocious determination to light 100 candles will ensure that I make it to that birthday.


No matter how much my purple veiny hand shakes, I will light every damn one of those candles myself. You know how old people can be inanely insistent. That will be me.


Yes, I will live to be 100, and the Vit C Eye Cream I use will save me from looking so horribly offensive as so many centurions do.


And I don’t plan on looking a day over  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .50.


Just to make sure reaching the age of 100 was feasible, I calculated my natural life span by taking a quick survey on My results said I would live to 94.


I thought that was a bit shit . . . . to come so close and fall short by only a couple of years. I could live longer, the website’s feedback said, if I increased calcium and flossed.


Okay.  But there’s only so much yogurt I can eat a day, and milk hurts my brain, unless it’s in coffee.


When I do have yogurt, it’s always mixed with honey, so I Googled honey in hopes that it would help me add half a dozen years or so.


Honey is one of my favorite things to eat. It is one of the best things ever in the world, and I was so happy when Google revealed that honey is an anti-oxidant AND it helps absorb calcium! Yay! No brittle bones! So I can keep eating it! Honey makes me happy, and I know I am not alone in this.


Last year, I met a bee man in Savannah who was also a big fan of honey, and its role in human life expectancy, but in a slightly different way.


I was in this historic city lined with broken-brick streets and black mossy trees wandering down streets and through courtyards when I came across the Honey Store.


It might have been named something else entirely, but in my memory, the outside of the Honey Store was bright yellow, almost glowing, and irresistibly beckoning.


Inside was unlike anything one might expect in a honey store. Usually, such shops are lined with shelves full of jars shaped like bear heads glistening with the sweet stuff.


Here, there were giant mock beehives! Yes.  Made of linen. Or cotton, I don’t know, but the entire inside of the store was decorated as if for children. It was awesome.


But what was even better than fake giant beehives was the long white counter because along this long white counter stood a long line of people.  The Honey Store was giving away free samples of their special honey!!


I know there is so much more about Savannah to remember, but it’s the personal little experiences that make a place memorable.  I was so happy with the yellow and the giant pretend-hives, I giddily took my place in line.


Behind me, was the bee man.


I can’t remember how the conversation started with the bee man. You may have been picturing a guy in a large bumblebee suit, but that’s not why this guy is called the bee man.  He was a bee scientist. Cue the lab coat.


In fact, I am not too sure what the bee man looked like because I imagine his face completely shrouded in a swarm of honeybees. I think he was gawky.


The bee man was an animated fellow. He told me his job is to save the dying honeybees from a virus. And from exhaustion. And malnourishment. The bee man had been stung 400 times in the last 6 months. The bee man told me he does not need to wear a space suit in a lab because the bees know his scent. Because of this, he told me, he rarely showers.


I don’t have a very strong sense of smell, so I don’t remember being offended by any odor. I do remember wondering how come he was still stung 400 times if the bees knew his scent?


But he was super excited and buzzing with energy. The bee man was soon to be leaving to do research in Africa (or maybe it was Australia?).  He was going to save the honey bees through his research, and as a result, save humanity. The human food supply is dependent on bee pollination, and he was a would-be bee-hero.


I picture him in Africa or Australia, poking at bee parts, sticky-honey fingers, face hidden from a swarm of buzzing bees that has attached itself in one teeming hum to his face.


The bee-man was going to save us all from extinction by starvation.


I wonder how he got on.


If I am going to live to be 100, I am going to need my honey.