I once told a girl in her early twenties that the nicest thing about being that age is that you have no idea of how fucked you really are.
She laughed. I guess she thought I was trying to be witty. I wasn’t. I was dead serious. Just as well. If she could really know it would ruin her life. She asked me how old I was and wouldn’t tell her. But I did say she’d probably find out what I meant when she was in her thirties so she should enjoy while she still could.
Life is a series of losses. People you love die, pets you love die. Society changes so fast you cant keep up. And so on. But it’s not these losses I’m talking about. It’s about giving up childish things. Some people think this is just another way of saying grow up but it’s not. The loss of these things seems almost developmental, like getting pubic hair or cataracts.
It’s not a conscious decision. It just happens. By the time you hit twenty, some things that you cared about passionately when you were in high school you no longer have an interest in. By the thirties the things you swore you’d always care about you no longer care about. And so on. You lose interest. They just don’t seem interesting or important anymore.
At another blog I once wrote about this and mentioned music. Listening to it and making it. I started playing guitar twenty years ago. I even wrote songs and lyrics. One day a while back I was practicing scales when I just stopped. I realized that not only did I not like what I was doing; I hated it. And since I didn’t have to do it, why was I? I put the guitar away and haven’t picked it up again and haven’t missed it.
It seemed to me then that a man older than thirty playing guitar was just pathetic, unless he was a professional musician. Probably half or more of middle class households have a guitar and somebody who thinks they can play guitar because they know three chords. But that’s probably post hoc rationalization. It doesn’t matter.
At about the same time I stopped listening to music, new or old. I’d heard it all before and it all sounds the same. It’s just noise that gets on my nerves. By now I cant stand to have the radio on when I’m in the car. But when the things that you know are going to happen some day start happening now it’s chilling. Especially when they start happening all at once. Death is among them but, obviously I’m not dead yet.
When I was sixteen I was in a near fatal collision in which my head went through the windshield of a car. I got several teeth knocked out in addition to nearly bleeding to death. After plastic surgery I got my teeth worked on. For $10,000 I got a permanent porcelain upper bridge cemented in place. It gave me no trouble until one evening last month when it simply fell out. Fortunately I was at home.
I went to the dentist hoping that he could just cement the bridge back in place but it wouldn’t work. I’m going to have to have it redone after an oral surgeon takes some teeth out. After bone grafts and implants and a new bridge I’m going to be out $12,000. And BTW I need root canals and caps on my lower teeth. But the dentist says he can do a lower bridge like the upper one cheaper than root canals and caps so it makes sense to just take them all out. That’s insane but that’s money talking. I could just see the dollar signs in his eyes when he told me this.
I was still reeling from this the next day when I went to the doctor for a wellness visit and found that my blood pressure was 165/120. I thought it was a fluke but after I bought myself a blood pressure cuff and started taking my bp I saw that this was a typical reading.
I hadn’t been on the treadmill for months so I went back to running for an hour three times a week. I kept all kinds of graphs on BP and it really looked like it was coming down until it shot back up. It doesn’t appear to correlate with anything. So I’m going to have to take a blood pressure medicine that is in the class of ACE inhibitors that works on the Renin-Angiotensin pathway. It can damage my kidneys and make my pecker go limp.
And to make matters even more grim I looked up my life expectancy on some actuarial tables. It seems that as I am now I have a 50% chance of living to 84 and a 25% chance of living to 89. If I can get my blood pressure normalized and lose thirty pounds I have a 50% chance of living to 89 and a 25% chance of living to 95. Since I have a relative who died when she was 100 and my grandfather was hit and killed on the way to work by a car when he was 85, IDK how to take all this.
And BTW I have all my hair. For now.
I know I shouldn’t bitch. I don’t have anything that’ll kill me. Yet.
I wish I could take the same attitude I did toward playing guitar but I guess I’m not yet at the point where life itself seems childish. But I’m getting there. And that is the end of this bitch session.