Self Portrait 2021

Looking into the future. Apparently not too happy. Lot of Dad showing up in my face, along with sagging jowls, wrinkled flesh, receding hair, and graying beard. Like how the light catches my scars on my forehead from my halo device. Damn this thing called aging, anyway. Pass me another beer, please.

Tuesday’s Theme Music

A dozen dreams and a dozen songs rock my mind’s caverns and cesspools this morning. Mostly old songs because I’m in the realm of being an old guy. Whether you’re old depends on not just your attitude but also your scale. When you’re twenty, fifty seems old. At sixty-four, I don’t feel/seem young to myself. I’m sure advertisers have a different opinion about it, as do people who are thirty years plus younger, right?

I’m reminded of my mother when I think of age. When she was in her late seventies, she and her fiancée (who was in his early eighties) often went out dancing. They especially loved the big band sound and swing dancing. But she complained about the old people. I told her that some might think of her as old. She replied, “I’m talking about the really old people, the ones who are almost one hundred.”

Thinking of old rock, and old Eric Clapton drifts into my mind on clouds of cigarette smoke. Eric Clapton is one of my rock heroes, you know. And, ‘lo, into my head from the crucible of thoughts emerged a little-known Clapton song, “Tearing Us Apart”. Done as a duet with Tina Turner in 1987, it didn’t receive much airtime, that I know. I came to know it because I’ve bought a lot of Clapton albums and watched him on DVDs. He’s played it a few times with Turner in concert. Today, though, I found a 1996 concert where Sheryl Crow is on vocals with Eric. I liked it and thought I’d share it with you.

Enjoy your day. Wear your mask.

Judging

I’m watching Hulu. I don’t pay to be advert free. The same commercials are often played. The one in play now is a Carl’s Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger. Breathe in the bacon, breathe out the bacon, is the basic play, while showing a cheeseburger close up. All I can think of when I watch it is, fifteen hundred mg of sodium (65% RDA), 34 grams of fat, 740 calories, and fifteen grams of sugar. Have some soda and fries with that.

Yeah, I’m fucking old, thinking about health over flavor and judging people who make that stuff, and the ones who eat it.

Dinofloof

Dinofloof (floofinition)  – An elderly animal.

In use: “He moved slowly, with arthritic joints, and his graying fur marked him as a dinofloof, but Marty waited upon him with care, because she’d never met anywhere as sweet and loyal as him, and he deserved loyalty in return.”

OBG

They called him OBG, because he’s the old guy who goes to the bathroom at least once an hour.

How old? They struggled with that; they were young. How young? In their early to mid-twenties, that period before things cease functioning (peckers, prostates, lungs, heart) and start dropping (breasts, butts, faces, and arches).

(They knew, intellectually, but still (and really, on the periphery of their awareness) that they were conditioned with a sense of the ideal and normal. They knew that others had body failures before they were twenty (they’d seen it on the web), but none (of those types) came to their coffee shop or university classes, and none (that they knew) were ever seen. Out of sight, out of mind, you know. Although, to be fair, they were self-aware enough to know that they were experiencing health privilege (although it wasn’t thought of that way). (Hey, you were either healthy, or you weren’t.) They were unaware (as the young and healthy often are) of the many changes quietly being made beyond their control in their young, healthy bodies.)

OBG knew (from his casual observance) (hell, it wasn’t hard) that they’d noticed his habits. With that shrugging air of one who’d lived and survive, he dismissed whatever they thought. Into the bathroom he went, first blowing his nose (damn sinuses) (he hated blowing his nose in public) (just didn’t want to bother others), and then stretching (because that fucking sciatic nerve was getting inflamed again and despised sitting in those chairs too long). (Yeah, he shouldn’t sit in those chairs so long, reading his Kindle and browsing the net, habits that he’d started when he’d retired, ten years before, which, in turn were begun by habits he cultivated in his twenties, when he was in school, like these servers who watched.) (Do you see the circle that he sees, the circles of behavior and culture, and how linked they are, like the Olympic logo?)

Then, because he was there, he went ahead and sat down and pissed (not that he had to go, but he was there, so…), flushed, and washed his hands. In all, four minutes of his life had passed, but it all adds up, you know?

The Quest

Like many, I awoke this morning and began pondering the eternal questions, like, is my head getting smaller?

I wasn’t being facetious. My new Tilley hat had arrived. When I put it on, I discovered it was much larger than my other hat. I confirmed the other was a seven and a half, so the two hats were the same size.* Ergo, my head must be shrinking.

Walking about with my oversized hat on, I entertained the other questions that often plague modern humans.

1. Am I gaining weight or are my pants shrinking?

2. Are my pants getting longer, or am I getting shorter?

3. Is it possible for me to be both gaining weight and getting shorter?

4. Can my pant legs be getting longer while my pants waist is shrinking?

5. If something really had 1/4 the fat of the regular stuff, can I really eat four times as much?

6. How much beer can a beer drinker drink if a beer drinker only drank beer?

These are serious questions. The one about my shrinking head especially worries me. I can see myself as a man walking around without a head. People would probably soon start head-shaming me, shouting, “Hey, there’s little head,” whenever I pass.

There’s family precedence. My mother, who was much taller than me when I was a child, now seems to be about the size of a garden gnome. She appears to be shrinking more in every dimension every time that I see her. I figure that soon, we’ll be able to hear her, but not see her, unless she stands at the right angle and in the right light. It’s like, “Okay, I see her shadow. Let me just trace that back to her.”

Alas, like others, I found no easy answers to these questions. That’s probably why they plague us.

The quest goes on.

*Editing note: Yes, I know that not all sizes are equal sizes during the modern industrial age. Most people must try on several sets of garments or shoes of the same size before finding one that fits right. Hence, there was one shortcoming to the Tilley replacement hat process: it’s predicated on the idea that all of their hats are the same size.

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