"I dream of a hard and brutal mysticism in which the naked self merges with the nonhuman world and somehow survives...Paradox and bedrock."-Edward Abbey

04 January 2010

Meditiations on Aging

Ever had one of those moments of looking into the mirror and realize you've aged? Maybe it's after some comedy, tragedy, irony, agony, or ecstasy. Something that hits between the eyes, like a two-ton heavy thing, the mourning after one of those wild nights out or on a birthday. A solemn moment of so-it-goes acceptance before burying one's face in a big pile of sh...aving cream.

A week ago, driving out to my parents' house, I was blaring L.A. Guns. Man, that took me back. A deja vu of twenty years ago, after my family moved back from the rural south, tooling around the badlands of eastern Colorado, listening to some cock-rock. Of course, I was going to be leaving my parents' house at some point and going back to my own. After L.A. Guns, I was going to be listening to some Italian pop. My hair might still be long, but these days, there are streaks of gray amongst the dysfunctional calico.

There was a period where I existed in sort of denial of my chronological age. I didn't really lie about it, but I didn't come right out and say it neither. Back then, when queried, I would answer by saying I was twenty-one for however-many-years-in-a-row, like it would make me come across as younger than I really was. I must admit, it was sometimes amusing to watch the cat who asked me do the mental gymnastics of the math within the walls of their skull.

But one day, a mourning after a party, when I was realizing I was not nearly as young as I once thought, but not so old as fuck off somewhere, being all nostalgic-like about back-in-the-day, and play golf, I realized it might just be okay to own up to my chronological age. I found it to be far less painful than I initially anticipated, and, upon reflection, I find myself happier or, at least, more at peace, because of it. Of course, more than one cat has remarked I look younger than I actually am. I joke it's because of clean living and mainlining Oil of Olay.

I do find time to be an abstract. Sometimes, I feel as though millennia have passed from one epoch of my life to the next. There have been instances when it seems like but hours, maybe days, have elapsed from an event, which may have happened months ago.

And I had one of those moments, this very mourning, right before shaving. Noticing a couple more crow's feet near the eyes. Another cobweb strand of gray hair amongst the dysfunctional calico. For a moment, perhaps as long as the space between heartbeats, I just stared. Perhaps there was some shock and awe, or maybe it was just solemn moment of so-it-goes acceptance before burying my face in a big pile of sh...aving cream. It seems so long ago now, I can no longer tell.

Aging doesn't bother me as it once did. When I was younger, I saw getting older, as, well, getting old , and, therefore, getting closer to death. I eventually learned death didn't really care if it was young or old, sick or healthy, rich or poor when it happened. My father is in his sixties, and is still going strong, just a little older, wiser, and more experienced than I. I have met cats who have been over one-hundred twenty since their fifth birthday. After that one joe job, where I danced with the dead for eight hours at a stretch, I learned one does not really get old until their eighties. Further proof to me that time is an abstract.

I am where I am; no longer a whelp, but yet to be an old man. And I'm rather fine with that. It's where I'm supposed to be along the abstract of my timeline. Having not mastered quantum physics and the manipulation of space-time, I can't really be anywhere else.

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