January 30, 2022
Recently, I’d say the last couple years, I’ve been feeling mortal. Mortal in the sense the world is moving on whether I’m here or not. It’s a bit disconcerting for someone who’d believed he was the center of the universe for many years. It’s been making me think what has caused this bout of realism. Health? Even though I feel aches and pains I haven’t really felt Death is anywhere around my neighborhood. Relationships? Yeah, I’ve had my parents and former classmates pass at waaay too young an age, but it just makes me feel fortunate I’m still here.
I think what has me increasingly concerned about my mortality is my diminishing power in marketing. I’ve been noticing more and more how the advertisements are no longer trying to push product on me, but rather focusing on others, younger others. The cuter, more handsome wonderful range of 18-55 year olds. Ugh. I hate them.
Where were they when I was being wooed to beg my parents to buy me a Stretch Armstrong? Or pester mom and dad that I NEEDED an Intellivision (look it up, punk).
They promised me babes by drinking beer and fun while eating fast food. Now that I can neither digest the food nor the babes, they are tossing me aside chewed bubble gum. (Incidentally, I was a grape Bubble Yum addict because your insidious marketing schemes).
Well, they’re not completely getting rid of me. I now follow much closer the daytime commercials for poultices to help knee, shoulder and lower back pains. Or medicine for those who get up numerous times at night to pee. Still a target but definitely away from the bull’s eye, and moving away from the focus with each rotation of the earth.
Quite similar to those school playground merry go-rounds when a big kid would spin that sucker around causing the centrifugal force to make us hold on for our dear lives. I’m currently the kid holding on by one arm and will, in a matter of seconds, be flung off into oblivion.
I did get some good news this week. And old man at the gym heaped praise upon me for having such wonderful muscular legs. Well, I should be appreciative. I had to tell him though my short shapely legs have been nothing but hell for me in my 50plus years on earth. I opened up and told him of my dreams to have long, skinny legs, the legs the girls want to be seen with. Not these chopped off tree trunks that make any pair of pants look like they belonged to Barney Rubble.
He listened and told me, whether he was being polite or truthful who knows, my legs are to be appreciated and they are desired by many. Many people. He continued that after 60 years I’ll be happy and thankful I have these powerful chunky legs as I age, for they are what seniors yearn. Ok, I’ll take it, but I still look like a goof in any suit that isn’t custom-made.
Abby spends so much time just staring off, at me, the space in front of her, the wall. I wish I could ask what she’s thinking about. Is she remembering when we could, and would, walk all day? Does she think tomorrow she’ll be back to jumping up on benches and racing down the road? What does she know about aging? The unstable walking and progressively increasingly amount of times she stumbles and falls over on a walk. Does she wonder? If she doesn’t, then she can continue to hope for a better day tomorrow.
I’ve been reading various books on the Meiji Restoration and am blown away by the speed by which Japan caught up to the world technologically at the end of the 19th century. In one book published around 1904, just before the Russo-Japanese war, author George H. Rittner remarked, “In less than 20 years, Japan has acquired the knowledge it has taken us centuries to learn.”
First, the decision to admit having to over haul your beliefs that have been a part of you for your whole life.
Second, accepting the beliefs of your enemies as being the correct road to follow.
Third, being disciplined enough to follow through and bring the country into the 20th century at the level as the other leading countries.
Songs I’ve been listening to
Meat Loaf – Paradise by the Dashboard Light
M.F.S.B featuring The Three Degrees – T.S.O.P (The Sound of Philadelphia)
The Staple Singers- I’ll Take You There
Sylvester- Do Ya Wanna Funk