Opinion » Bill Cope

Mr. Cope's Cave: Reflections in a Golden Age


It's been a while since I put some pretty, pretty music on this page. So today, that's what I'm going to do. Put on some pretty, pretty music, sit back, and...

Hey Mr. Cope, how'd the big reunion go?

Ah shit!

Oh oh. You're not still mad at me, are you?

Probably. Soon as I remember why I was mad at you in the first place, I'll let you know for sure.

I don't want you to still be mad at me, if that means anything to you. In fact, I came over to help you with that problem you're having with Facebook.

What problem I'm having with Facebo?... oh, yeah. That problem I'm having with Facebook. Look, I don't want to mess with that today. I just wanted to put on some pretty, pretty music, sit back, and reflect.

Reflect on what?

Oh, you know. Things.

This wouldn't have anything to do with your 50-year reunion last weekend, would it?

Maybe. Maybe. Soon as I decide whether it's any of your damn business or not, I'll let you know for sure.

I'm not trying to be nosy, Mr. Cope. I'm just curious, that's all. I mean, it must be sort of weird seeing those people you haven't seen since they were so young.

It is. Yes, it is. But you know what's even weirder?


How even under all that gray hair and wrinkled skin, behind the 60 or 80 extra pounds and the sagging flesh, beyond the slow, cautious steps and the hearing aids and trifocals and stiff backs and shot knees and stooped shoulders, you can still see that kid in there. The kid you knew 50 years ago. Or maybe it was my imagination.

My mom says you don't feel yourself getting older. That it sneaks up on you.

I think your mom's right. You feel yourself getting slower, sorer, softer, maybe even sadder... but not older.

Mr. Cope... if you don't mind me saying so... you seem a little sadder today.

Ah, it's just that I can't help but think there could have been a lot of lifelong friends in that bunch. There we were, all in the same place at the same time, sharing the same experiences. And then... poof. We go our separate ways. Lose touch. And it takes 50 years to remember how much we liked one another and enjoyed being around one another. Most of us, anyway. And I'm not sad. I'm wistful.

What you call "wistful" looks pretty much like sad to me. 

Nah. Totally different things.

So what do you do when you're wistful, Mr. Cope.

Well, Biff, if I'm alone, I put on some pretty, pretty music, sit back, and reflect. That is... if I'm alone.

Uh, er, um, I guess we can work on that Facebook problem another day, huh?

Oh I'm sure we can.

So, uh, I'll see you then, huh?

Till then.