Most people eventually come to a yield sign on their personal roads that causes them to say to themselves, “Hey, I’ve grown old.”
For me, it’s always funny and sad, a dark humor time where you laugh at the inevitably and sadness. Part of the epiphany sometimes comes with or from chatting with young people or watching media aimed at them; you each vaguely know something of the other’s slice of culture but it’s otherwise a little bizarre. You each can’t believe what they don’t know.
I always thought that Steely Dan’s “Hey Nineteen” captures some of that bewilderment and amusement. A song from 1980, it came to me today as a response to a look from my wife. I made a throwaway comment as we passed in the dining room. She, busy with her thoughts, graced me with a befuddled grace that made me laugh. Though the wife is but one year younger, my brain brought out the Steely Dan line, “She thinks I’m crazy but I’m just growing old.”
It’s really neither, craziness or growing old. I had my writing head on. The world spins a little differently from a writer’s perspective. Events are oddly wired (well, wired in ways writers and other artists see that remains opaque to the rest) and the world’s tilt is canted in a different way.
Anyway. To the music. It’s a little mellow, soft rock with a jazz infusion. Give it a listen.