Fighting… oh, so we all say is no country for old men. Yet the granddads remain confidently rooted with an adamant refusal to be moved despite all the heartaches. Why? We go figure, roll our eyes, and just plain shake our heads mostly on what is obviously no longer there. Perhaps it’s got something to do with the stubbornness that comes with age. Or perhaps it is simply the thrill of the ride, the fun of the chase – that whole out of body sensation which keeps time at bay through the system of living life on the edge – that foolish attempt to hold that ever elusive feeling of being alive which gives them the audacity to refuel and forge on.
When things go bad we all implore them to call it quits. Just hang it up gramps, we all bark. But what do we know? Most of us are young enough to not have seen many a million more of their waking hours and we think we know what boils deep in their hearts? We tell them – we imply what must be done next even though we know that they must know what to do with their own lives. And if they want to depart life in a cold but cheek way as to get their souls knocked out of their bodies for good within the ringed caskets of professional fighting like the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s infamous Octagon, why should we tell them otherwise? After all, dying cool is an admirable way to go when most people just go on right ahead for a boring death. So why don’t we all stop nagging at our good ol’ elders since we already know they won’t be moved and would stay for as long their ailing bodies would allow. They would fight, fight, and fight for fighting is the love of a warrior.
An old lion paces across the cage before his young challenger. He looks sharp, in shape, but clearly out of his time with all the visible sag and wrinkles speckled all over his muscular body. He fights on because he loves the adulation of the crowd. Their screams ignite his bones; their booing inspires him to prove them wrong. This is the wisdom that has been established in him by his years and years of fighting. It is the one thing his challenger does not have over him. But the young lion could care less about this – he doesn’t care or that he is not aware that such wisdom exists. To him, the screams mean he is liked; the booing simply upsets him and it makes him want to tear the old lion’s head off to make it stop.
The bell rings.
The Young Lion charges forward, adrenaline rushing through his veins. The Old Lion, all calm and calculating, snarls and skips forward. When both lions break the distance between them, their guns draw at the exact same time. But before either one could land the hay-maker, the Old Lion collapses to the ground. He is dead. The replay shows: A vein in his head popped out of his forehead for not being able to withstand the stress. Another angle on the replay shows: The left side of his chest visibly contracting somewhat grotesquely and then it expanded with a shocking, tremendous force as if a sudden blast occurred inside him. Later, autopsy would reveal that his heart exploded due to pressure.
And we are left with the Young Lion gaping in wonder and the crowd divided between the states of quiet awe and panicked shrieking.