Alec Solomita’s fiction has appeared in the Southwest Review, The Mississippi Review, Southword Journal, and The Drum (audio), among other publications. He was shortlisted by the Bridport Prize and Southword Journal, and named a finalist by the Noctua Review. His poetry has appeared (or is forthcoming) in Anti-Heroin Chic, The Lake, The Galway Review, Panoplyzine, The Blue Nib, Red Dirt Forum, and elsewhere. His chapbook, “Do Not Forsake Me,” was published by Finishing Line Press in 2017 and is still available on Amazon. He lives in Massachusetts, USA.

Advice for Seniors

for Ron Padgett

Stretch every morning.
Walk twenty minutes a day at least four days a week.
Forgive everyone who’s hurt you but not to their face. Let them stew.
Sleep as long as you can. Take tranquilizers if it helps. Don’t get up until you’ve had a dream about sex.
Have three or four drinks every night, but not much more or you’ll feel bad in the morning.
Pray even if you don’t believe. Don’t ask to be a better person. Just pray.
After you bend over to tie one shoe, take a little break before you tie the other one.
Do not get a pet. They are too much work.
Listen to Fats Waller.
Dance, but not too fast.
Tip big.
Don’t accept senior discounts.
Don’t use the word “senior” ever, even when referring to high school students.
Get a nightlight.
Don’t join an online dating group called “Over the Hill” or “The Last Gasp.”
Don’t make a point of telling people you love that you love them before it’s too late. If they don’t know, that’s their problem.
Give to charities if you can afford it.
If people don’t answer your phone calls, don’t assume they don’t like you, although it may very well be the case.
Take classes. If everyone’s old, stick it out unless more than one student falls asleep at a time.
Make sure you have enough salt each winter so you don’t slip on the ice.
Change your heating and drying filters.
Don’t talk to dead people unless it’s an occasional curse.
Love your neighbor more than you love yourself. Give them a break.
Take yourself out to dinner. If you have a friend take them out to dinner.
If necessary, see a therapist but don’t join a group. What right do they have to know your business?
Do not eschew anti-depressants
Let the past embrace you.