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You do not want to go quietly into that good night. Sometimes when your back aches and your eyes lose focus or the ringing in your ears become conspicuous you think you are going whether you like it or not. So you open a Monster and guzzle, the caffeine, taurine and guarana working their unsavory magic on your nervous system. You take your vitamins and supplements, including creatine and glutamine, two substances that are banned in professional sports. You pack your gym bag and get in your black Jaguar XF Sport and race to the Bay Club. Fuck the chronic strain in your right shoulder. To hell with the tweaking in your lower back. You press. You pull. You push. You do an hour and twenty before heading to the sauna. You take a multi-bladed razor and shave your head bald. In the shower you marvel at the muscles in your body, how they bulge and pulse, engorged with blood, their veins visible under the skin. When you dry off you feel electric, radiant, and full of life. You feel good. You feel young. It won’t last but nothing good ever does. So, you keep coming back. You’ve never been this old before but right now you are as young as you will ever be again.

 

Bodily Functions (2)

July 19, 2020

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Continued from previous post…

If you hadn’t started shaving your head decades ago, before it was trendy, you might wonder how much hair you actually have left. It began falling out in your late twenties, when you got married. Whatever amount remained it would most certainly be gray. Thankfully, this is a moot point. You are relieved that your cranium is smooth and without unsightly contusions. A shaved head suits you. If it doesn’t, no one has told you otherwise.

Though your prescription has remained essentially the same for years, your eyes are getting weaker. They test well in the optometrist’s office but reading or writing reveals a different story. Lines blur. Like ants, letters crawl around the page or screen. You have become quite adept at guessing words rather than waiting for your eyes to focus. When writing you depend on spellcheck, the way a teenager does.

What else? Ugly toenails. Thankfully, not so much but the yellowing hue gives pause for concern. No matter how hard you exercise certain muscles don’t respond like they used to. Your ass cheeks have become soft as a fat woman’s tits. After one big meal your belly bulges, seemingly creating flab overnight.

To be continued…

 

55

February 19, 2020

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“I’ve never been this old before.” You heard a man say at an AA meeting. He wasn’t trying to be funny, but it was good line. You guffawed into the circle of chairs.

Sitting outside your home in the waning minutes of daylight, you think about your age. You are 55 years old. Double nickels. The speed limit. Rock singer, Sammy Hagar, who lives in Marin County as well, had a big hit in the 80’s: Don’t Stop at 55. He’s much older than that now and from what you’ve read about him, he’s still pretty active, in both his music and outside endeavors. An “adrenaline junkie” the writer called him.

You don’t want to stop at 55. But more and more the river of life recedes and your feet get evermore stuck in the mud. You’ve never been this old before. It takes getting used to. You fear you may never get used to it. You wonder, or is it worry, that getting used to aging means you have officially, irrevocably, become old.

The other day you while you were at the gym, fighting the good fight to keep your body in some reasonable shape, you saw an older fellow being helped into the workout area. He walked feebly and had a female caregiver by his side assisting him from one machine to another. In addition, a personal trainer was there, guiding them both. Together they would get the man into a machine. Then fasten the ties and set the weights to an appropriately low level. “Push slowly down taking care not to move your head forward,” the trainer said. She spoke loudly and declarative, the way a second grade teacher would. You found that sad, having to address a grown man like a child. But there it was.

Reflecting on that scene, you now realize how frightened it had made you. Not so many years separated you from that old man. Age may well be a state of mind but his decrepitude was real. Any person would dread becoming as he was, in need of constant help doing rudimentary tasks, like putting on a pair of jeans, wiping his ass. Did the old man have a nervous stomach like you? Every shit you take was an adventure, resulting in either gassy torrents or a painful dropping of pellets. Sometimes you pushed so hard it broke the membranes in your anus bringing forth pink blood. Whether the old man in the gym had these issues or not you knew they came with age. It scares you thinking of what else is coming.

You take a puff on your cigar, something you absolutely should not be doing. Like the caffeine you ingested almost hourly it was very unhealthy. But the pull is even more powerful than the fear of getting cancer or becoming decrepit. You’re an addict. Paradoxical behavior is no surprise.

Feeling good and feeling young are the same thing. During exercise, when the endorphins kick in, you become exalted. Your muscles tighten. You feel powerful. Fucking is, by definition, being virile, a stud. Using your muscles elicited a sense of youthfulness, vigor and purpose, which honestly was disappearing elsewhere. You chase that feeling like a good buzz. In this way you are like Sammy Hagar, a rock star, an adrenaline junkie. An addict.

Doctors say the mind stops maturing at the age one begins abusing drugs and alcohol. That means you were 16 years old when you stopped using at 40. Doing the math, now 55, you have a thirty-something brain assuming you’ve matured at all.

Does it matter? You are a man getting older. Maybe the last few years are merely a protracted mid-life crisis. Some men jump out of planes or climb an imposing mountain. Satiated, they return to their domestic lives and begin the process of aging gracefully, whatever the fuck that means.

You do not want to go quietly into that good night. Sometimes when your back aches and your eyes lose focus or the ringing in your ears become conspicuous you think you are going whether you like it or not. So you open a Monster and guzzle, the caffeine, taurine and guarana working their unsavory magic on your nervous system. You take your vitamins and supplements, including creatine and glutamine, two substances that are banned in professional sports. You pack your gym bag and get in your black Jaguar XF Sport and race to the Bay Club. Fuck the chronic strain in your right shoulder. To hell with the tweaking in your lower back. You press. You pull. You push. You do an hour and twenty before heading to the sauna. You take a multi-bladed razor and shave your head bald. In the shower you marvel at the muscles in your body, how they bulge and pulse, engorged with blood, their veins visible under the skin. When you dry off you feel electric, radiant, and full of life. You feel good. You feel young. It won’t last but nothing good ever does. So, you keep coming back.

You’ve never been this old before but right now you are as young as you will ever be again.

Author’s note: If you’d like to read the entire book or would like me to write something for you please look me up. Thank you!