Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Suffering from the AGE virus
Before I sat down to write this, I had to remember where I left my reading glasses...
When I was 23, a 33 year old woman had the hots for me. She was a cutey. A friend of mine played bass in a band and her brother was the drummer. He kept telling me she wanted to go out and I ignored her hits for a while. My previous girlfriends up to that point had been younger and I was a little apprehensive about dating an "older woman." At the time, 30 years ago, I was single and suddenly my young male libido kicked in. I mean, OK, I relented and we went out for a couple of months. Then, I dumped her. This wasn't one of my finest hours, but I didn't want to date a woman who would turn gray and get all wrinkly on me. She was a woman. I was somewhere between boydom and manhood. Besides, a younger babe was beckoning. Today, I would die for a 33 year old. The odds of that happening at my age are somewhere between winning the lotto and landing on one of Jupiter's moons. Oh well.
Dr. Leonard's - America's Leading Discount Healthcare Catalog came in the mail the other day. You know, like the ones your parents or grandparents get with thousands of remedies for whatever ails you, from incontinence to arthritis relief to unwanted hair. It was addressed to me. WHERE DID THAT COME FROM? Who sold my name to this company that caters to old people? I'm not ready for my first liver spot and I don't need to "say goodbye to ugly skin discolorations." Thank you, anyway.
My God, have I hit that age where I can't think of myself as young anymore? I don't think I want to admit to it, but I guess it's true. The wisdom of middle age is screaming OLD AGE...OLD AGE into my harder of hearing ears. Years ago, I owned several MGB-GTs. Convertibles weren't my style since I didn't want the sun beating down on my already balding pate. Today, I have a lot more aches and pains that occur naturally with aging and getting out of an MG might prove to be more difficult than plopping down into one. It's not as easy getting out of bed these days, either. Ooh. Why do my back and shoulders hurt?
I've always had light colored hair and what I have left has done a fairly good job of camouflaging the gray that keeps creeping in, unannounced and uninvited. What does bother me, though, are new hairs growing where they've never been - or weren't like this when I was younger. A few years ago, I started sprouting these thick, dark hairs in my eyebrows. Like they came off a horse. Of course, I clip them. I don't want to look like Leonid Brezhnev or Andy Rooney. Then came the nose hairs. Thick, black ones when I've never had a black hair on my body. I guess I could grow a mustache with those hairs, but it would look funny in black. Instead, I'll keep the one I have, gray hairs and all. I invested in a pair of small, sharp scissors and I find myself grooming in front of the bathroom mirror more and more each month.
"At least I don't have hair growing out of my ears," I told an old friend once.
"You don't?" she responded as she started to yank on one that was growing out of my earlobe. It must have been about 2 inches long and was growing from the outer rim.
"Ouch! Pull it out!" I begged. "I don't want any more signs of old age!" At least it was blond and my head hair had kept it hidden. Besides, it wasn't a bunch of hair growing from the inside of my ears, like you always see on older men. It was just one, but now I have to lather up and shave my ears once in a while, when I remember.
That's another thing. I've always been good at remembering things. Names have always escaped me. You'd have to tell me 3 times before I'd remember. Today, 6 might do it. Writing it down is much better. As a matter of fact, I have to write a lot more down today than I ever did. If I don't, I might not have an inkling of what you said or I thought about ten minutes ago. Not always, but it seems like it's more often than not these days. It's funny how my long term memory has remained intact. I can conjure up thoughts from almost 50 years ago, with incredible detail, and explain it like it was just yesterday. Short term? Forget it. Did I just say something?
When I was young, getting as close to a band at a concert was a sure fire way of proving yourself to your friends that sat way behind you. Ha! I got better seats and my girlfriend is better looking than yours, so there. Silly youth. I wonder how much of a toll third row seats have taken on my hearing? I can still hear when I want to, but that leads me to another thought. From a musical standpoint. Ahem. I love sax. I can't play as many songs in a set as I used to, but the songs last a lot longer. The older we get, the more finely tuned we become and that's sweet music to my ears. Hopefully, to my audience of one, too.
Then there's other issues, but it's time to go and when I've got to go, I GOTTA GO! Now, where did I put that catalog?