When I had the epiphany I call 'the sadness of aging' I was 19 years old and it was 11 o'clock in the morning.
I was on the 309 bus ( a single decker painted blue) travelling from Botany to Kensington. In was in the mid seventies, in the days when people could still smoke on buses, the bus was crammed with grey and blue haired people in their sixties and seventies, there was a blue and orange add on the wall that announced VD is Catchy! and there was a hand lettered sign behind the driver that said "Do not speak to the driver whilst bus is in motion.".
As the bus chugged off from the bus stop and I took my seat I took a moment to examine my fellow travelers - the invisible people - and realised how old and uninteresting they all were.
As far as I was concerned, in my little 19 year old's head at least, the other people on the bus, as 'old' people, weren't real people, they were just cardboard cutouts, just caricatures.
The bus trip to uni was about forty minutes and often I would entertain myself by playing that game where you stare at the back of someone's head and try and get them to turn around by the mere power of your gaze (it works - just try it).... And, on this particular day, during this game, my eyes fell on a particularly fine looking woman, in her seventies, with sculptured cheekbones and porcelain skin and clear blue eyes - and the light glanced upon her face in such a way that, for a moment, she metamorphed into a much younger person.
In that moment of clarity I realised that she had once been young and beautiful.
And when I looked back at the other people in the bus, I understood, that if I looked very hard, I could see the young people hidden in their faces, that I could see the archetypes of youth, that I could almost recognise the people that I had been to school with, as if every generation has it's facial types that emerged in groups every twenty or thirty years ....