Sunday, January 11, 2009

Reversed process

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is F Scott Fitzgerald's short story that makes you think, 'What if the growth process were reversed?"

Benjamin Button looks 70 when he is born. He thinks like an old man, older than his father. Years later, he looks at the mirror and sees his white hair turning into brown. He's getting younger, and he feels greater energies and passions. He marries, joins the army, and when he gets back, he notices his wife has gotten older. He feels silly when he's beside his wife, who now looks fifty while he looks twenty. The story ends with Benjamin as a baby, playing with his grandson and learning new words.

The crazy story fascinates me.

Society has expectations of people: they must act according to their age. Any decent man you meet on the street will not give the same treatment to a 12 year old than he would, say, to a 50 year old. One is identified by one's age.

I remember this one time when I watched a movie with my mother. As she was choosing the seats on the computer, the cashier asked, "Ma'am, ilang taon na po siya?" (Ma'am, how old is he?). I was 20, and the movie was R13.

Age—in this case, looks—does matter.

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