Monday, September 14, 2009

Getting Old

Everybody ages. Few do it gracefully, it seems.
I just saw a show air a whole piece on the plastic surgery Sylvester Stallone's bought for his mug. It troubled me on a couple levels:
  1. Why was Stallone's face considered newsworthy on ANY show? Stallone was like the bad Ahnold copycat.Rambo was Stallone's Commando, Demolition Man was his Total Recall, and Rocky was his Kindergarten Cop. (just kidding. The abortion "Stop or My Mom Will Shoot" was K Cop's doppelganger) Maybe I guess we're talking about him because of some oblique connection to America's Health Care - if rationing is imposed, who will fix Rocky's face for Rocky: Seniors Tour?
  2. I was struck by the saying, "Kill your idols" - the piece not only considered Stallone's work newsworthy, but did n the style you would expect for war crimes. Guilt was implicit, his condemnation preordained. It was one of those, "Jesus, I don't think I want to be famous" moments. Let me fall apart due to aging in private indignity.
Because I've been aging. I turned 34 this year. I'm not suffering crippling bone marrow loss or liver spots all over my body. My degradation is subtle. It's the clock in your car that stops holding onto the time, and only flashes 12:00. Your car runs fine, you can play music, nothing's really broken . . . nothing that matters anyway.
I fear what starts to go early lends insight to the kind of old person you'll become. If you start retelling stories. . . you'll end up as Abe Simpson.
I've started forgetting about my fly. I've gone sometimes half the day with it not only open, but wide open. I've been alerted to the fact more than once by a stiff breeze hitting me just right, and shame floods my soul.
Just this morning, I walked around with it down half the morning. My wife doesn't even tell me anymore (I suspect foul play).
This foreshadowing is ominous; it doesn't indicate I'll be the grandpa who hands out candies to his grandchildren, or tells boring stories that lend insight to the wacky times we live in.
This foreshadows me on the porch, paunchy and half crazed, wearing boxers and a robe with no shame at all. Yelling at cars to slow down and watch out for cats.

Admittedly, the signs could be much worse. I've only defecated as an adult when drinking has been involved.
So there's always that.

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