I never imagined that it would ever seem to me that my youth flew by. Prolonged as it was, I’m certain there are those who thought I’d never grow up. It was inconceivable to me that my generation would one day pull jeans up over behinds that were no longer high and tight, were in fact the very antithesis, slack and sagging.
40, 50, 60, 70 ad infinitum is not the new anything. It’s the same as it always was but in some cases it looks better. Maybe it doesn’t look better, maybe we just like to pretend it does. Middle age is still 35-45 and 45 is stretching the middle. At 50 you’ve definitely crested the hill and you’re heading down the other side, euphemistically southbound.
My generation has joined the flock of snowbirds making the great seasonal migration. It occurred to me for the first time, this fall, as my 80 something neighbors packed the car for the trip to FLA (Lou Reed did not sing about Miami FL, it was FLA) that I’m not willing to take my life in my hands and drive southbound on Highway 41 with a bunch of oldsters who are susceptible to accidents caused by deteriorating eyesight and hearing loss not to mention the plethora of attacks, distracting incontinence, and viagra dosages gone awry.
Another thing I’ve noticed is the increasing desire for peace and quiet. My friends and I remark on it. Sometimes, perhaps often, we don’t answer the door or the phone. We respond to invitations with regrets. I’ve always enjoyed my own company but I distinctly recall 2 or 3 decades when I barely slept. Home, was where I went to shower and change in between the party and work. The shopkeepers, bartenders and business owners in the last urban neighborhood I lived in as a single person nicknamed me “The Mayor”. As you might imagine, there were some disadvantages to achieving that level of notoriety.
I don’t wish to relive my misspent youth and I don’t envy or begrudge the young but you know I’m really surprised that here I am in all my decrepit glory.