I have been declared Emperor of the World. Let us not waste time explaining why or how; let’s all simply accept the fact that we are better off, as a result; hence, my next decree:
Emperor’s Decree No. 70: Age simply is not “just a number.” Age is, after, say, twenty-one, the irreversible decline of the mind and body, the ultimate result of which is, in the best of all possible situations, an uncomplicated and peaceful death. But age is, most often, a slow ride on a dirty bus, with sticky floors, among a bunch of stinking strangers to soap, at the end of which we find ourselves befuddled, boxed off from the things and people we love through the loss of vision and hearing and terrified (if we are blessed with the mental capacity to be terrified) by the question of whether our beliefs in an afterlife will prove to have been even remotely true. Age is the arduous road to either oblivion or paradise, but it is not just a number. Age is a walking journey, each step pf which leaves us weaker, more filled with existential anxiety, and looking — if I am being honest — less and less attractive at the waypoint of each birthday. Age is a journey from which there is no return. Age is the turning of the padlock on a cage that will be dropped into an ocean. Age is doom, in the most Anglo-Saxon sense of the word.
Oh, please. I’m doing you a favor. You can’t rage against “a number. “
The Punishment: Users of the phrase are doomed to learn the truth. This is punishment enough.
Now, go forth and obey.
The Emperor will grace the world with a new decree each Tuesday morning(ish).