, Gloucester, MA


November 3, 2013

Fishtown Local: Doin' the old guys' Glosta limp

What’s with the limp, all of a sudden?

I dunno when it began — years ago, I think — but I’m doing the Glosta Limp. I’m 63 and I had a hip replaced a while back, also broke a foot on one side and tore a liggy on the other,- all within the last few years. They mostly healed, but were replaced by the Glosta Limp.

That means I’ve joined just about every other male over 55 on the streets, at the gas pumps, in Liquor Locka, down on the waterfront. There doesn’t seem to be anyone over a certain age — and even some younger guys — without it.

It’s very rhythmic, kind of Igor-ish, totally unconscious and a natural roll down the sidewalk. Kids and dogs and baby carriages give way, as if we were completely out-of-control and a menace to be huddled from until we have passed, but we don’t take up any more room than anyone else. We just look like it.

We limpers don’t even think about it either. On we go, getting the train down the track every day. The limp is just part of the deal.

My wife is horrified, as if it really hurt or something — or that it made me feel as bad as I look (to her).

What is she so worried about? Popeye had a limp, so did Frankenstein, Bruce Springsteen, the entire NFL, half the City Council, George Bush, the Bruins, most of my church and also the guy in front of me buying gas in East Gloucester. Plus, just about everyone else around town who works, carries, hauls, chops, fishes, sails, drives a truck or ever tried running.

I have also noticed a decent percentage of old guys around town — over 60, that is — who have decided to let their hair grow. It’s a very Founding Father look, Ben Franklin, Mount Rushmore, etc. so one can see why they/we do it. I admit to letting the curls cascade down the back ‘o the neck lately — sort of an “I’m old and I’m outta control” kind of statement, I guess. But it does feel good in a tribal, let’s-hunt-buffalo way.

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