The Age of Age

I have discovered something ghastly. I was looking in the mirror not so long ago to discover that I had a sun spot above my right eyebrow. It’s tiny, but it’s a shade darker than the rest of my skin.

It occurs to me that these are the spots I see on old people, especially their hands. But there it is, gazing back at me. Winking, taunting.

And quickly, my mind tumbles down a slippery slope. I see a future of melanomas, back ache, ear hairs, creaky joints, creakier joints and prostate problems.

These disappear in my rear view as I accelerate towards loss of bladder control, halitosis, a fondness for Spam, hip replacements, dentures and skin that sags under my arms.

Then I have a head on collision with a nursing home where I get changed twice a day and spoon fed arrowroot gruel by attendants who have to listen to me tell them stories that all start with, “Back in my day…”

I have a realization that I am actually getting old. Or at least older.

There are people walking the street who we’re born in the 90’s. They speak and have opinions, most of which I don’t relate to. They have never handled a cassette. They don’t know what Beta Machines are. Christ, they don’t even know what a VHS is. I was DJing in clubs and bartending and going to uni and dropping Es and getting wasted and trying to stand up, when they were just trying to stand up.

They wear 80’s fashion with no idea that it didn’t look that good the first time around.

Then I do the math. God, I’m going to be 34 this year. No, wait 35. Fuck…NO! Wait! That was last year. It’s 36. Is that right? Born in 1971, it’s 2007…yep, 36. In dog years, I’d be dead. I gay years, I’m good as dead.

Now I have to add memory loss to the list above.

This sends me into a bit of a funk. I’m not one to obsess about age, but this cusp of 40 thing just came from nowhere.

But think about it Karl, you stopped going out on Saturday nights in favor of a good DVD and a cup of tea. You talk to people and say things like, “When I was your age…” and the knob on your stereo hasn’t seen anything past level 4 since, well I don’t know. And you bought this thing because it went to 11.

iPod recently played list; Joni Mitchell, Foo Fighters acoustic album, John Lennon, French Jazz…it’s all over.

I try to remember what that medical ad was selling, I might need it, anal seepage and all.

I’m doing a freelance job at the time when this wisdom rains down on me and a friend I’m working with walks into the office; he’s just been for a haircut.

He sits next to me, all 33 years of him and has to tell me something. What you whippersnapper?! The hairdresser, with no discussion prior, just put the comb behind his eyebrows and trimmed them. He just became The Guy Who Needs His Eyebrows Trimmed. He’s That Guy now.

The thing is, not that I’d noticed before, but they do look better. The clouds part, the sun shines through and I smile for the first time in days. My eyebrows don’t need trimming, you old fart.

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