Studies in Britain —in places all over the world, really— conclude that elderly people are lonely. Well, I’m lonely without my elderly people.

I see other people’s elderly people, or more specifically, people I assume are other people’s elderly people, all over the place. I see other people’s grans and nans, their grandads and Pa’s. I borrow them, sometimes, in my mind. I think about if they were my elderly people, if mine hadn’t left yet. We walk in step for a while, me and other people’s elderly people. On my way to work, or down the aisles of shops selling food or books. This isn’t a picture of my grandad. Maybe he’s yours? Or yours?

At 27, I’m one of millions comprising the massive sociological phenomenon of adults not getting to be adults —yet. The big life things are being pushed down the road —graduation, home ownership, marriage, children— and more and more we do those things without our elderly people. Because they can’t wait for us, and we can’t speed up for them.

So, sometimes, I borrow your elderly people. I hope that’s okay. I pretend they are my elderly people, and I hope that they are proud.