Ageing can be a pain in the ass. Well, not so much in the ass per se but periodically in other bits. The question I often ask myself in the morning is: “Wonder what’s going to hurt today?” I don’t mean excruciating hurt, that’s something that needs to be seen to, I just mean little, well, pain in the ass kind of hurts.
But wait, there’s more (as they say in about 10,000 obnoxious cheapo TV ads. Ageing isn’t just discomforts, but also areas of distress involving tempis fugiting and not having accomplished certain things in one’s life that is growing ever fleeting.
We were all young once and we set out to if not save the world then at least to embrace those parts that had allure for us and we suffered under that primary delusion of the young and that is, “I’ve got all the time in the world.” Indeed you do, and that’s all you’ve got and that’s the time the world allotted you which may be 18 years or 40 years or 110 years.
And when I was young just yesterday, or so it seems in retrospect, I wanted to do great things. I wanted to write many books, paint some wonderful paintings, learn how to sculpt, learn to brilliantly play a musical instrument, be in a rock-and-roll band, visit all the wonders of the world, go to the south seas and swim in a beautiful lagoon, make love to beautiful women who wanted me because they were dotty about my handsomeness and charm. Oh, and maybe win a Nobel.
My score’s not all that good as “time’s winged-chariot” scurries right on by and in recent years I’ve moderated my quests. I have checked off that I have done and what is yet to be done. I’ve visited a few great sights in the world and have swum in a beautiful south seas lagoon. About the lovemaking with beautiful women, discretion thwarts my saying but I have had moments. The Nobel? Nah. Too many unworthies getting it these days, anyway.
As time moved on for me I realized not only had I not accomplished all those great things, there are lesser things I haven’t acquired or accomplished in my accumulated life attainments. Things like:
– not learning the Spanish translation for La Bamba. Just because Ritchie Valens didn’t either (according to the film) is no excuse for my slackness.
– not having been to a major league baseball game despite the fact I like it. Mind you, my criterion here is a difficult one because I want the game I view to be at Ebbets Field.
– not getting past my belief that Jane Austen is the most boring and mannered novelist ever and girding my loins and trying to read some of her tiresomely romantic bilge again.
– not having visited Canada’s (or anyone else’s) arctic ever and not wanting to, ever, even though I sometimes in moments of weakness think I should. I have flown over it many times. What I’d like them to do is ship the aurora borealis down here once in a while. But, when it comes to weighing in the balance Nunavut and Kauai for vacation time. Well, you know. Maybe next year.
– never getting past the prejudice that tells me licorice allsorts are created in Satanic factories. Nothing that makes my gorge rise like those abominations do has any right to call itself candy.
– acquire a taste for Bartok. Actually I don’t think anybody has ever done this and it should perhaps be a Nobel Prize category.
– Read more of Ulysses than just the dirty parts.
– master the ability to read (and write, you’ve gotta get one of them little wedge-shsaped tools) cuneiform and devote my waking hours to pondering ancient Babylonian tracts.
– develop an addiction to a psychoactive drug nobody has heard of, kick the habit successfully then write a handbook about it.
– wing-walked on a Stearman biplane.
-marrying and subsequently getting divorced from Deborah Harry with me kicking her to the curb for her being somehow substandard.
Very well, then I suppose I just have to carry on and see what I can accomplish.