256 Words

One Man's Lifelong Plan

M. Stanley Bubien

There lives a man who last year turned 120, and this is how it all came to be.

"I think I know," he once said long ago, "that people don't live to 120 because that's an age they never plan to see."

Realizing he was onto something, the man took pen in hand and furiously he began to wildly plan his life's every age onto a little yellow page.

"Here's where I'll graduate," he said, pointing toward a tiny 28.

He scratched an X straight through a scrawling 32, and with a sigh he blew, "I'll have sweat my way to a corporate level obtained only by a few."

Come 41? "The year I'll have kids, which should be fun!" And at an ominous 75? "Well grandkids, sakes alive!"

As you've probably guessed, to friends and family this seemed quite ludicrous. But he shrugged them off saying, "When I turn 120, who'll be scoffing?" (Certainly nobody, he well knew, since by then each one would be in their coffin.)

Well it turns out that life progressed exactly as predicted by the man. From college to corporation, through children and grandchildren---all the way to his 120th birthday, his life followed that perfect plan.

It must be said a year after turning 120 he's grown too tired to move much anymore. But when his children's children's children come visit, he gathers them close, and with a weary wave of that even yellower page, he shakes his head and says, "I planned for 120 years. Not 121!"

Copyright ©1996 M. Stanley Bubien. All Rights Reserved.

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November, 1996
Issue #8

256 Words