Old age is invisible to youth. For many years, old age was content to have it so; invisibility allowed the old to practice their secret ceremonies unobserved by the curious eyes of the young.
But now old age wants to be visible; the old want to be noticed and, to do so, they strive to look young. If the old are not careful, the young will begin to pay attention to them. Old age will ruin it for older age by uncloaking their invisibility.
Then their secret ceremonies will no longer be hidden; what they whisper in the closet will be shouted from the housetop. The old will no longer be able to walk about the streets of Byzantium undetected. Then their youthful looks will reveal just how very old they are. The caged bird will keep silent and the Emperor will fall asleep.