Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Nurse the Hate: Hate the Clock

I know I must be getting old because I have several friends staring down death in the form of horrible diseases, and another that escaped a heart attack death with the finesse of a trapeze artist. I find it especially odd to see my ex-girlfriend battle breast cancer, a good musician friend go the distance with lung cancer, and a heart attack victim among my contemporaries as I really feel exactly the same as I did when I was 22. Who are these old people I know facing old people health problems? Oh wait… I’m their age too. I recognize the gray hair and wrinkles forming around my eyes, but still, what the fuck? How did I allow this to happen?

I had always assumed that when you got older you have all the answers, and moved confidently into the future. I now know this is a complete lie. Wouldn’t you have freaked out when you were seven if you had realized your parents had no fucking clue what they were doing? As you comfortably laid your little head to rest, your parents were probably saying things like “Cable TV is a fad. Who would ever pay for something like TV?” and “You know, that O.J. Simpson seems like a nice fellow!”. They didn’t have a clue, and neither do you.

This has just recently radically changed my attitude towards senior citizens. I have for most of my life thought of senior citizens as people that don’t know how to work the debit card machine at the grocery store, drivers of giant American cars weaving slowly and gracefully down the left lanes of highways, and people that are wildly attracted to the television shows Matlock and Jeopardy. I now understand that they are also people just like me walking around going “What the fuck? How come my legs aren’t working right? I was 24 years old like yesterday.”

You want a real wake up call? Swing by a nursing home. With a few exceptions, you really don’t want to end up there. I saw this guy, Mr. Anderson, who was twisted by palsy into a pretzel lying on a low bed unable to move. He sat there in his own piss all day and grunted. What do you hope for there? Do you want to be of unsound mind, in some sort of hell you can’t remember from moment to moment, or even worse, perfectly clear of mind watching the clock tick all day hoping for death to finally come for you?

That image gives you great incentive to go do things that you always wanted to do. It’s almost April. You’ve pissed away a quarter of the year, and what do you have to show for it? It’s time to pick up the pace. Me? I’m going to SXSW this week, play some music I wrote with my friends, and see some places in the country I have never been to. While not exactly climbing Mt. Kilamanjaro, at least I am not driving in traffic to sit in a 5X8 foot gray cubicle selling crap to people that don't need or want it.

There’s no time like the present. Let’s go do something.


At March 7, 2012 at 1:07:00 AM EST , Blogger AZ said...

Amen brother. See you Thursday.

At March 7, 2012 at 10:52:00 AM EST , Blogger Field Marshal Rommel said...

I speak often of the fact that, at 47 years old, I feel exactly the same as I did when I was 24. And I still do almost the exact same things as I did then. Aside from a "few" more grey hairs, wrinkle or two and a few well earned scars, I pretty much look the same as well. I suppose we can chalk it up to good clean living, my friend. Good clean living.


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