Even in this millennium people tend to think of one’s biological clock as the barometer of available time to reasonably birth a child. Timekeeping however, is clearly a matter of perspective. This year, as my friends parade to 60, I am acutely aware that my own clock is ticking. Biologically, pathologically, methodically.
I’m not sure what the ending of a decade means. It may not even signify the loss of any unique opportunity; it may in fact identify GREATER opportunity. I just know that declaring I’m “…in my fifties…” will only be the truth for a few more months. That, as my father would say, “…Is not good for the Jews.”
Turning 20 was great. We were at Ohio State and it culminated what was to be (for many years) the best year of my life. Longert threw me a surprise party populated by a myriad of people. The cast of characters hasn’t changed much over the years, but only grown.
Walt, Wieder, Fenton, Snyder—all the OSU scholars….My brother and his freshmen pals were down there…and Linda had a bunch of new friends from Taylor Tower. I can’t quite remember if the ultimate mother of my children was there—we had met just two weeks earlier. But I do know that birthdays were fun then, and that age was a much anticipated rite of passage.
Even turning 30 was good. The world was my oyster. We were new parents
making new friends. Jerry Rubin was wrong; life was just beginning.
And then life happened. I gave myself a 40th birthday present—a bullet to the foot. Shot it there myself there in the late 80’s and continued to fire for nearly a decade….it was the “Gift that kept giving.”
Until I got sober.
Turning 50 was an evolution. Single again, I was faced with asking myself “Would I go out with someone in her fifties?” or (G/d forbid) ”Could I really go out with a grandmother?” (It never occurred to me to look in the mirror and that A) I was an unattractive heart attack-waiting-to-happen or B) The only thing thin on me was my wallet. A half century and still…reality and Bruce were just ships passing in the night.
Fact is, even if I had the money, I couldn’t buy a date. A friend, trying to be funny, gifted me with one of the then relatively new little blue pills. Like I had a use for it! Truth be known , by the time I found a date I lost the tab.
So here I am in 2009…teasing 60. They say it doesn’t matter, but it does.
The economy is in turmoil. If I haven’t achieved my security yet, can I ever? And if my ego isn’t ready for an AARP card now could I even consider a Golden Buckeye discount?
The hell with the economy—consider the social world. As the broadcast networks and tabloids focus on cougar women, can I? I’m going to be sixty f’–ing years old. A cougar to me would be someone…..77?
(Do I really want to go cruising at Montefiore?)
Satchell Paige, who first made Major League Baseball at 42, was fond of asking “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?” That sounded good….sounded profound…. For him.
Problem is I know how old I am.

2 Responses to “TIME IN A BOTTLE”

  1. Jackie says:

    One of your best!

  2. Aunt Helen says:

    Why are you so obsessed with your age? Don’t resent growing old. Many are denied the privilege.

    As you know, your brother often quotes George Bernard Shaw. He loves the quote: “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; We grow old because we stop playing!”

    I agree with them.

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