| Quote #1
When he had just turned forty, he had gone to the doctor because of vague pains in various parts of his body. After many tests, the doctor had said: "It's age." He had returned home without even wondering if any of that had anything to do with him. (4.146)
For most of his life, Florentino doesn't seem to worry about the passage of time, aging, or mortality. The future seems to extend on indefinitely, and even his doctor's diagnosis fails to awaken him to these realities.
| Quote #2
He was shaken by a visceral shudder that left his mind blank, and he had to drop the garden tools and lean against the cemetery wall so that the first blow of old age would not knock him down.
Old age really sneaks up on Florentino. Is this a universal experience?
| Quote #3
But that was also the period when Tránsito Ariza manifested the first symptoms of her incurable disease. Her regular clients were older, paler, and more faded each time they came to the notions shop, and she did not recognize them after dealing with them for half a lifetime, or she confused the affairs of one with those of another […] At first it seemed she was growing deaf, but it soon became evident that her memory was trickling away. (4.26)
Tránsito's memory loss brings to light one of the many possible dangers that accompany growing old. Interestingly, Florentino never considers the possibility that he too, might lose his memory one day and forget all about his love for Fermina Daza.