Some time ago, I heard that forty was the new twenty. Apparently, this excused older women from preying upon young men who had just started to sprout hair in places they'd been previously afraid to wash. Upon one of my friend's sixtieth birthday, he proclaimed-several times, I might add-that sixty was the new forty. My mathematics aren't great, but this did tell me these things happen in twenty year intervals.
I am now thirty-eight. Given the above mentioned factors, thirty-eight is the new eighteen. I can groove with that. Eighteen was a great weekend.
The other three-hundred sixty-three days had their ups and downs...
When I was eighteen, I was a senior in high school. I fought with my parents, even and especially my mother, a fair amount. There were times of driving around during late hours burning fuel and listening to mixed tapes. I was learning the hard and painful way the acceptance thing was not going to happen for my aberrant ass without a lobotomy and perhaps a different shell. There was, ironically, the matter with the youth councilor I started dating, closer to graduation, who helped perpetuate an amused observation my sister had of me;
"There were these girls who would want to go out with because you had long hair and wore jackets with buttons and pins. They figured you were a bad boy. But you didn't do drugs or drink that much or have a criminal record. You just read and drank coffee and wrote in notebooks and kept to yourself."
We still chuckle about that. It was proof to me that a judgment based upon appearance is a sickness, despite the fact we are such visual creatures. Over the years and lifetimes, I have lost track of how many times I have been told I was not what I either appeared or what was expected. Perhaps that makes me deceptive by nature. But then again, it's all true, even and especially the lies.
When I was twenty-nine, a girl said I intimidated her because she saw me as a bad boy. Not a bad boy in the conventional sense, but as the cat who cooked, kept house, and shopped for himself without the mollycoddling of a woman. She observed the simple fact I didn't need anyone and questioned whether I wanted someone.
Of course, twenty-nine would be the new nine. At new nine, what the fuck would I want to be doing with girls? I mean, other than pulling their hair or throwing rocks at them? At the new nine, girls had cooties.
There's something cool to me about surviving thirty-eight years. See, when I was twenty-three, my fucking psycho-x said she'd had a vision I was going to die when I was I was thirty-seven. My asthmatic lungs would finally give out on me, and I would asphyxiate.
That was back when I smoked two to two and a half packs a day, and had coughed up blood once or twice. I was being self-destructive at the time, and was still under the adolescence's delusion immortality. Besides, twenty-three would be the new three. At the new three, what the fuck does anyone know? About anything?
I abstained from tobacco a little over two years ago. Whether that has much to do with disproving that vision is conjecture. It could also be a case of prophets don't know everything and oracles can be wrong, or an aspect of one making their own fate. Whatever the case, thinking about it gets me to want to give out a self-righteous guffaw;
Ha! Ha-ha! Fuck you all!
At the new eighteen, I suppose one can be angsty and defiant like that...
It seems to be the jack-off fantasy of the culture. An if only. If only I was [place whatever rose-tinted idealized age here] know what I know at [place chronological age here]. That's where the trouble starts. The grasping for some perceived perfect time instead of existing in the here and now. Not many like to accept that the moment is all one really gets, the rest being memories and jack-off fantasies.
I am thirty-eight. High school, and other forms of institutionalized learning, are mercifully years behind me. I've not fought with my parents in a good long time, and couldn't fight with my mother even if I wanted to. When I go driving, I have CDs or a radio, and rarely do so just go burn fuel. I have come to accept being an aberration; being too tall, too skinny, with eyes too big for the rest of my face. I'm still not sure what exactly got Sabina's attention about me, although I know it wasn't some bad boy misconception. There is a cobweb of gray in my dysfunctionally calico hair and I have my own teenager to deal with.
This is the new eighteen, because time is an abstract. Anyone with a base understanding of quantum theory and/or some Buddhist philosophy knows that. Even the prophet, Saint Douglas Adams, in his gospels of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy observed time is an illusion, and lunchtime, doubly so. Thus showing, sometimes prophets do know something.