The one thing I detest is when people try to assure me that I am now living in the “Golden” years of my life.
I can assure you that life after 70 is more brass or rust than it is gold but the challenge becomes trying to make the most of whatever time you have left.
I get up in the mornings and I remember the days —- a lot of years ago —- when I would bitch and gripe at my kids because they would play in the grass on our front lawn and leave tracks and make bare patches.
Now sometimes I go to the window and look out that same lawn —- with a tear in my eye—- and wish I could see my kids playing out there one more time.
Oh I have been blessed physically and mentally —- although there are a lot of people who would argue about “Mentally.” At 77 I can still get on a hybrid 24-speed bicycle and ride 12 miles on warm mornings without suffering total respiratory failure or cardiac arrest. I think that is a plus.
At this advanced age I still have occasional sexy dream and I wake up in the middle of the night with a woody and I pray to God, “Oh God, please do not let this horrible state of affairs sap all my strength and leave me here dead in this bed for somebody to discover in the morning —- or a month from now.”
I guess that is too much information for the faint of heart so I will get off the subject because in all reality there is nothing I find more disgusting on the face of God’s Green Earth than a discussion of geriatric libido.
Most of my so-called “Friends” are either dead now or in nursing homes or are so bent and old and gray they can barely remember who they are. These are the very same assholes who used to chide me because I spent so much time on exercise, gym memberships, proper diet and vitamins and minerals … wheat germ oil … and all the other health food shit they used to say to me, “Why do you want to waste your money and time on all that stuff for?”
Today when I see one of those kinds of folks hobbling along on their walkers or their canes I am tempted to say, “Now you know why I spent all that money and time on those health supplements and that exercise and those gyms. I did it so that now when I am 77 years old I can still run circles around you. Note that I said “I am tempted to say these things” —- but I feel such pity for such under-informed fools that I am at a loss to explain and I am just happy that I have been so blessed. (Cross your fingers because it could all change on a dime tomorrow — or even in the next minute.).
When I was 25-years-old I was climbing a road up the side of a mountain in the State of Washington and the day was clear as a bell and it was mid-summer and the mountain air was so invigorating and I felt so young and so alive that I looked into the heavens and proclaimed aloud, “I could live to be 300-years-old if I willed to do it.”
Within just a few minutes from that victory cry I had been bitten by a strange dog and started 8 weeks of therapy — taking a very painful shot in the stomach every morning for weeks on end — to prevent (To try to prevent) getting a case of rabies from the damned dog.
Life went from total assurance of my testosterone’s ability to sustain my youth on that mountainside to total fear of impending death —- in just a few split seconds as the dog’s fangs bit into my leg and I limped fearful and helpless to a convent in the woods and some nuns called for help and got me to the hospital.
That was one of the challenges of my youth. Now that I am older the challenges have changed a little — have changed a lot —- have changed a hell of a lot!
My Son promised to take me to an amusement park this summer. I looked forward to that excursion with the same kind of enthusiasm a small child has when it looks forward with anticipation to doing something wonderful with someone he loves.
When I was really little this excitement came when my Dad would take me to Coney Island for a day.
So when my own Son promised that he would take me to the amusement park that same childish anticipation returned and I looked forward with bated breath to the day when he could call me and tell me the date when we would go on the adventure together.
But my Son is a big-time executive in a big-time Business and for one reason or another the day to go to the amusement park never quite arrived. Like a lot of kids who grow up and leave the nest, my Son got “Busy.” — He got so god damned busy he must have forgotten all about old Dad.
I can excuse it but it still hurts.
I can understand it and I must have been a total fucking fool to expect that something like that might ever have really happened for me.
Tonight as I sat in the semi-darkness of a room here in this
tomb mansion, a tear slid down my cheek and I caught myself becoming emotional — just like a spoiled child who had been denied some instant gratification — and I said to myself, “STFU, you f**king fool! How dare you expect any respect or courtesy from your big shot son who is so damned important at the Corporate maze where he spends his days earning the big bucks playing with f**king computers all day long. He has his life and how can you even dare hope for anything more than the occasional greeting that is bestowed upon you?
Do I hold it against him? I don’t want to. Part of me wants me to but the real me doesn’t want to hold it against him. If he is like most kids he won’t understand a f**king thing about how I feel until he is looking down on my dead body in a casket someday.
It was like me with my own Dad. From the time I could walk I had thought my Dad was dumber than a box of rocks. But by the time I had reached the age of 21, I was totally surprised by how much my Dad had learned in just a few short years.
Alright now — enough of the pity party!
The fact is that we live in a culture of youth and the whole culture is youth oriented and when you reach a certain age you are tolerated but you really are not part of the culture anymore and you get the feeling that most of the people around you are just waiting for you to cash it in and get the hell out of their way so they can grow old in the same way that you have.
These are things that most people do not want to think about.
America is a great place for people who love to stick their heads in the sand or up their own asses to live. America is a great place for people who love to ignore the inevitable because there are enough distractions and diversions to keep them busy until it is time for the body bag and the flowers in the dimly lit room with the soft music playing and all the idiots standing around totally ignoring the figure laid out in the coffin as they make their stupid jokes and laugh at stupid jokes and pretend they never knew you even existed. — I have seen this kind of disrespect at a lot of funerals lately.
You want lessons in living? I am f**king giving you a lesson in living.
Do you know how valuable you really are?
All you have to do to find out how valuable you are is to attend a few funerals and see how the “Bereaved” act in the presence of their “Loved Ones” who have gone on before.
Is this a depressing f**king blog post or what??
I guess it is and I guess I intended for it to be!
Maybe somebody will find some of the answers they are looking for in their own miserable existences and maybe some folks who have a truly happy and fulfilled life will find a reason to rejoice in the fact they are not as forgotten as so many people eventually become.
I have written it now. I don’t know why. But I have written it now and I hope it does some good for somebody somewhere. That’s not too much to ask, is it?