|SIXTY-THREE GOING ON FIFTY|
There are good reasons, I suppose, to be dead at 75. I’m not sure of the statistics, but many of us by this time are functionally feeble and dishearteningly demented. Many of us by this time become not only a burden to society, but even more selfishly important, a burden to our families.
Fact: Medicine is not reversing the aging process; medicine simply slows down the dying process.
Fact: Medicine has transformed terminal illnesses into chronic diseases that must be endured over an ever increasing antediluvian lifespan.
Ah such is life.
I am 63 years old going on 50. This is my delusion. This is my comforted reality. Sixty-three sucks – fifty is fine! It’s not that I am yet feeble or demented (I’m far from it – I think), it’s just that I’m not ready to retire into any sort of complacency, not at home and most certainly not at work.
This blog is purportedly about busking; though, my regular readers know it is often about me. Most my readers know that I am the hero in practically every story that I tell. Today shall be no different.
My grandfather died at 34 years of age; my father died at 74. My intention, then, is to live at least until I’m 75. After that, well … I suppose I’ll just have to wait and see! I do know that to deny Death is to be benighted, and there is no circumstance that I can imagine that I would want to be walking in the intellectual dark.
Woody Allen said, “It’s not that I’m afraid to die, it’s just that I don’t want to be there when it happens.” This, too, is true for me. Death really is a conundrum.
Some more facts (note that I use the word die, rather than the words pass or pass on):
Fact: We are all going to die.
Fact: Actually we could die at any age but … the baseball stats show that men die at an average age of 78; whereas, women die at an average age of 82.
Fact: I’m closer to my death than to my birth.
Fact: I’m still living a quality life.
Fact: My definition of quality seems to change accordingly to my current age.
Fact: When I think about it (and I don’t want to think about it a lot), I’m afraid to die.
Really, if I had my druthers, I would want to live forever. But really, I wouldn’t want to live forever if I looked like I have been living forever.
At 63 I know I'm on the decline, but still am living according to my delusional self. I still can run a marathon; I still can bench press the pies in the gym; I still can climb Jacobs Ladder every second day; I still can busk and play in two bands; I still can blog, write books, and write songs; I still can go to work (full-time counselor, part-time university professor, part-time hypnotherapist); I still can color my hair. Yikes! (I really do not color my hair – I pay others to do that for me. This is not feebleness in physical ability; this is just common sense so I’m not using the kitchen sink.)
And I still can dream of years to come.
Really I wish I could just come and go, live and die, as I desire. Wouldn’t it be nice if one could just free fall and glide over Mulholland … free fall out into nothin’ … leave this world for awhile. (Thank you, Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty, I owe you one.)
Really I wish I could just free fall anytime I wanted, just leave the planet on a moment of notice, especially when my heart is broken or when times get tough. I know that people suffering from schizophrenia have this as a common theme, the idea of living forever and sadly, they are seemingly forever tormented because they cannot.
I do not have schizophrenia, but I can imagine the delusional thinking behind such a dream.
Fact: I’ve just 15 years left according to those baseball stats.
Fact: I quite often use baseball as an expression because I quite like baseball.
Fact: I once saw Leroy Satchel Paige and his baseball all-stars playing in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Canada. (Google Satchel Paige for his incredible baseball story!)
Fact: Leroy Satchel Paige, like his contemporary Yogi Berra, was rich and rife with original quotations: Age is just a case of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it don’t matter. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were? Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you.
Last fact: We’ve just two creatures living on the planet that do not have a finish line; the Turritopsis Nutricular, a species of jellyfish, and Dracula's offspring, the vampires. (See my blog entitled THE DRACULA ADVANTAGE: AN ESSAY ON LONGEVITY.)
Though I would love for Death to be demode, I do realize that I’ve really little time to dilly-dally.
No time to look back ...
Something might be gaining on me!