Gut Rumbles
 

August 01, 2003

a picture I will remember for a while

We've got the whole beach to ourselves. The water is very still and waves barely lap the shore. I can see the boys laughing and splashing out there as they collect sand dollars. They run up about every three minutes to where I'm sitting to display their latest finds. Then they are off to the water again. They have ants in their pants.

I remember having ants in my pants when I was their age. Yes, I had legs that ran everywhere I went, up and down the beach, through the water to the shore and back out again. I never got tired. I could play in the water like that until an adult made me quit, and even then I would bitch about it as soon as I was called to go back to the room. That's what the boys did to me. They didn't know how tired I became from watching their endless energy.

Now, I stay tired anymore. I WANT ants in my pants, but I don't believe that I could handle it if I got a case of them. I'm coming to grips with something I never wanted to admit. I am old.

I woke up at 0215 Wednesday night after a terrible nightmare. I was covered in a cold sweat and I had goosebumps all over me. Bejus! That dream had snakes and heights and the ex-wife and everything that scares me half to death all rolled up in there. It was hideous.

I went to the bathroom to take a piss.

When I turned on the light, it took me a few seconds to realize who that old bastard in the mirror was. It was me. Once I accepted that fact, I looked closely at the person I have become over the past couple of years. That accounting was almost as hideous as my nightmare.

People once always supposed that I was younger than my actual age. They tend to err on the other side today, and I can't blame them. I have the eyes of an old man, and when I look right into them, I still see a young me in there, but that guy is buried in the wrinkles and lines etched all around my face. Hell, if that guy ever got ants in his pants, he couldn't make it out of that spiderweb. He's fucking buried, covered up, trapped.

I splashed water on my face and wiped myself with a towel. That got rid of the sweat and the goosebumps, and I thought that maybe I would get better after that. But when I looked in the mirror again, there was that same wild-haired old fart staring back at me. I had better get used to it. That old fart is who I am today.

I checked on the boys and they were sound asleep. So were the ants in their pants. I opened the patio door and smoked a cigarette in the dark. I was obligated to take the boys to the water park in the morning, then to the sand bar that evening. I promised them that I would, and I deliver on my promises. Lord knows, I didn't feel like it right then.

I finished the cigarette, flipped the butt into the bushes and went back to the bathroom. I poured two fingers of straight vodka into a glass, drank it down and went back to bed.

I didn't dream after that, but I was still old when I woke up in the morning.

Comments

I realized I was suddenly old when I recognized that I had no dreams or intentions for the future. For all of my life, I thought out several years, extrapolated from where I was to where I thought I could be...and one day...it just wasn't there.
now, it's pretty much, wake up, shrug, and tell myself, ok, got another day...so far.
I don't know about your thoughts, but for me, there was a very specific dream, a hope held on to for 20 some odd years...and one day I just knew that the dream and the hope had no chance.
Don't know if it has any relevance, but about the time that I was going through that, I was also checking in on a very old man, just turned 90, had lost his wife of 52 years just the year before, was in a nursing home (and by the way, keep pills or a gun handy, because no one and I mean NO ONE, ever wants to go into one of those hell holes of misery and loss)...anyway...for a year I came and visited, checked on hm, and for a year he would tell me the same favorite stories, over and over again...in my stupid middle aged youth I grew bored at hearing the same stories...but then...they stopped...and he just started staring into the distance, that famous 1000 yard stare. He didn't tell the stories anymore...and he was dead in 2 weeks.
The point I get is that you can't give up the narrative of your life, no matter what it is, because when you do, you've lost the vital strength...and things just start slipping away.

Posted by: KS on August 1, 2003 06:52 PM

That silver-haired bastard I see in the elevator reflection is NOT the brown haired stud I see in the shaving mirror. I spend half of my working hours thinking "do I look old enough to get whacked?" But I won't go hair color, although my CEO, CFO, COO, and Chairman of the Board do. I EARNED these gray hairs. And I've been through 14 "right-sizings" in 12 years, and I'm still here. My point? Fuck with me. Please.

Posted by: Velociman on August 1, 2003 07:53 PM

I woke up about 6mos ago, looked at a woman who just turned 53, finally finished with menopause, and looking frumpy as hell. My mother? Nope, me.

I realized I had two choices. Go down the path marked "you're getting old" or take the one that said "fuck that I'M not ready to be old yet." I decided to take the second one.

I have lost 25 lbs. going from a size 12 to a size 5. I go to the gym six days a week, not to build up, but to tone down. I started tanning...
I'm taking better care of myself than I did 20-30 years ago.

I buy sexy clothes now...all of them sexy. For my studmuffin to see, but primarily for me, because they make me feel so good.

I also walk around nekkid because I love how my body looks.

And guess what?

It's working...I look great, sexy. I feel great, sexy. I look more than 10 years my junior. When we went to the beach last week, I had young guys, I mean cradle snatch material whipping around to look. That made me feel good...God, I am old enough to be their mother, I know because I have a son-in-law.

So when you look into your mirror...don't concentrate on how tired you are, just be glad that you still have the opportunity to even get tired.

Best years are still ahead...I firmly believe that. ;-)

Posted by: Laura on August 1, 2003 08:51 PM

Laura, you are ready to get porked. Unfortunately at this rate Acidman's going to be identified as Exhibit A at the trial. Are you sure you don't want to carry this over to Vodkapundit's site? He's a hottie.

Posted by: Velociman on August 1, 2003 10:52 PM

I got old when I broke my back. Fortunately I had friends and family kick my ass. I'm 56, sometimes I feel 70, but I ain't quitting yet. I already paid for my next dive trip and I'm fixin' to send in the deposit on my next ski trip. And I'm still waiting for Shell's shaving tips, goddammit!

Posted by: Denny Wilson on August 1, 2003 11:51 PM

Ummmm, hottie, huh?! Well, let me just trip the light fandango over and check him out.

Posted by: Laura on August 2, 2003 09:20 AM

Vodkapundit is all hat and no cattle. He got married and pussywhipped in the same instant.

Posted by: Acidman on August 2, 2003 02:37 PM

One of the main things you don't understand when you're young and you look at someone in their senior years, is they still have their young self tucked somewhere inside them.

I think it was the hubby's grandpa that first told me that. Sure his body looked old, but his head didn't believe it. His head still thought he was young.

That has to be weird.

Glorybbb

Posted by: glorybbb on August 5, 2003 04:19 AM
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