Back in My Day

Submitted into Contest #1 in response to: Write a story about someone turning 100 years old.... view prompt



I always get confused these days. I want for the soothing click clack, click clack, or the neighing as horses stroll by taking my neighbors to and from town. Instead, I get the insidious noise of loud cars zooming by, causing infernal racquet to my age damaged ears. People don't seem to grasp the concept of time until it's there, right in their faces, flaunting itself.

Back in my day, people lived every day like it was their last. They didn't seem unaware of days passed, or events missed. They were aware of every meal missed and every moment of time were they could be doing something to make lives easier, more fulfilling. Back in my day, people had to make use of what they had, not doing so meant dieing. People of today are loose, with everything. Morals, money, wastefulness. You name it, and I bet you it was different.

Now, there are cars, and planes. There are so many differences in technology. We were just getting those finagalled phone contraptions, using single digits, and now everyone has them. Every one! Planes, now those were a giant work in progress, but now, every day they are used. Used to be that you could barely lift off, now they beat records and do tricks. And don't get me started on cars! Lousy machinary. Why, just the other day one almost killed me! I tell you, people just don't respect their elders anymore!

I miss my kids, they seem to never want to see me anymore. I can't really help if I occasionally forget about them. I mean, my mind has nearly a hundred years worth of memories and information to ruffle through any given day. I think the fact I'm not lost in delusions of yesteryear is admirable. Not my kids though! I haven't seen my son in ten years alone! Why would they do this to their poor lonely mother? I just saw my daughter last year. Or it feels like last year. I remember the fall was here, I could feel the cold breeze through the window as the leaves fell in a vibrant rain of yellow and red. She was sat opposite to me trying to explain something important. The news is lost to me. It was something that hurt me deeply though. It had to do with her brother. The tears in her eyes and shaking of her hand had only been there a couple of times before this day.

Back in my day, I've said that a lot the last thirty years or so. My family never listened to my warnings though. Now, as I try to get their attention they're glued to whatever brain numbing concoction is on the television or their phones. I won't be missed, but I cling to the hope they'll notice I have to say goodbye soon. I'm nearing one hundred years old, and I'm so tired. Some days I think I can see the light, then I realize I'm just seeing the sun through the sheer curtains. I think they have something special planned for my birthday next week. I can always hear the whispers, always just barely above speaking level. I don't want a big shindig. I'm just getting older, it doesnt mean much even if I've lived a century long or I've lived a couple of decades. Yay! I made it! I made it to be alone most days, to rarely be remembered, or visited, or thought about. This is the dream. (That was sarcasm.) As I write this, the bones in my hands crack and I can only stand writing so much.

Back in my day, kids and adults wrote everything out on paper in pretty writing. None of this impersonal type it out boohockey. I miss the days of letter writing. When you had to put actual thought into what you were saying instead of whatever you wanted in the moment. No one thinks things through anymore. It's all; insults, judgment, and wrath for imagined wrong doings. You treated your fellow with respect that no ones shows these days.

Back in my day, we were living in a true time of depression and segregation. People truly were separated by poverty level and color of their skin. No one was just getting their britches in a twist about some imagined slight. I hate that. About a century later, and next to no separation of people and they still gotta find something to argue about. Its astonishing how people do next to nothing to fix things while they complain about what needs done.

Back in my day, if we saw things needed fixed or completed, we immediately hoped on getting it fixed or completed. To not do so, could have meant injury, loss of work, or death. Now, people just shove work on others and complain. No ones in fear of dieing or losing their lives, and they take that for granted. You can't just take life for granted then complain about it. These kids need to learn a thing or three about life from us older ones.

Back in my day, we stopped to enjoy what we could. We'd smell the roses if we ever glimpsed them. We enjoyed the time we had with our loved ones, never knowing if they'd be drafted for war, or die in a work accident. We didn't allow petty things hold us back as much as this new breed of adults do. Ghetto meant poor, and immigrant, not whatever use it's been getting these days. (I know what use it's getting, I'm just to nice to say it.) I'm nearing a hundred years old, more swiftly every day, and every day, I get more and more disappointed in the way my country has changed since yesteryear. Oh, how I wish we could time travel, so people could see the vast difference more keenly. I'll show them something to cry about on that...crowspace? Twitterbook? Facesnap?...whatever media they cry on.

August 01, 2019 14:44

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Amanda Lieser
18:26 Aug 09, 2023

Hi Jessica, This was an admirable take on the prompt, and I appreciated that you chose a perspective that isn’t always written from. Your use of repetition was tactful and created a sense of urgency. This character is begging to not be forgotten in a world that seems to have passed them by. My heart broke at the little details of loss that this protagonist has endured-the children don’t come for a visit anymore. Great job!!


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Kate Heesemann
04:22 Aug 14, 2019

great writing! Can really see the old woman typing this...


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Ellis Nash
17:16 Aug 13, 2019

This was really good. I did consider this prompt but I thought it would be too difficult for me to write about, but you wrote it well! I liked the repetition of "back in my day" and it didn't seem overused, I don't think. It's ironic as well that she complains about people complaining too much! And saying that we don't have separation anymore, as if racism or homophobia doesn't still exist... I enjoyed reading this regardless, and good luck for announcing the winner!


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