Sunday, September 25, 2005
Shrivel Rhymes With Drivel
I'm only 31, but I'm starting to feel much older.

All my joints make a horrible popping sound whenever I stand up. It's even worse if I'm wearing something slightly restrictive or made out of a noisy material. When I've got the full-body rubber suit on complete with the built-in restraints, just getting out of bed sounds like Chinese New Year. It's pitiful.

I've got no energy, my bones ache, I'm starting to forget things, my gums bleed, I've lost four teeth in the last two weeks and I always, always smell like Icy Hot and pipe tobacco.*

I know what you're thinking: Pops, with a body like that, how do you get anything done with all the hot young teenage gym-towel-girls and juice-bar-smoothie-blender-operators throwing themselves at you?

The honest answer is, I don't. My body is almost completely shot. I don't want to gross anybody out, but my advanced case of hemorrhoids at my relatively young age is the stuff of legend. My doctor makes appointments with me when he has a class to teach or a case study to work up or just when he's feeling kind of down and needs a good laugh to raise his spirits. For a nominal fee, we tour teaching hospitals together. Honestly, by this point my ass has had almost as much public exposure as Tara Reid's.

I can't decide if it's the body and mind degenerating that drags down the personality or if it's the change in personality that begins the degeneration of the body and mind. It's a sort of chicken-and-egg problem. Only the chicken has Alzheimer's and the egg is already convinced that its whole life is a pathetic, wasted lie.

Just don't get me started with the damned neighbor kids on my lawn and how I would prefer it if they would not so much be there.

My accelerated development is driving my own children crazy too. I've gotten to the point where I start every sentence with he phrase "Back in my day...", as in:

"Back in my day, we didn't have any fancy daytime talk shows to tell us how to live. We just had to make it up as we went, which is why we were all some combination of pregnant and high."

"Back in my day, we didn't have fancy hurricanes destroying cities. We had to wait until our local sports team won a championship and then destroy our cities ourselves."

"Back in my day, shut the fuck up already."

They find me tiresome and unworthy of their pity, which is remarkable considering my youngest is barely over 2. Seriously, you don't know malicious indifference until you've had it administered by someone who has yet to be toilet trained.

I try to apologize to them in my more lucid moments, but it's no use. There's no turning back the sands of time. I'm not even just saying you can't turn back the sands of time because it's a bad metaphor and I'm not quite sure how one would go about turning back sand in the first place, I'm just saying... old. Me. In comparison to what I used to be.

I know I'm getting old because I'm leaving more and more things behind; things that I not only used to take great joy and pride in, but things that in many ways, I feel, used to define great huge swaths of my personality.

For example just this weekend, my wife while spending a lazy Sunday afternoon "relaxing" as only Mrs. Pops knows how was scrubbing bathroom tiles, vaccuuming every semi-flat surface on our property and cleaning out/totally rearranging the closet in our bedroom. During that last part, she lovingly suggested that I get my vast old comic book collection--as she put it--"the fuck out of [her] way". It's a sad little collection, only four boxes and about 300 books in total that hasn't been added to in well over a decade. Right now the boxes are just Things I Move From Place To Place in the times we move. They have a neat side job of being one of the Things I Yell At My Kids For Touching along with knives, electrical outlets, the stove and my collection of 18th century full-size replica Phalluses of the Serengeti figurines, but past that, they mean nothing.


It's completely bizarre. These little already-finished coloring books I used to completely obsess over with weekly visits to the comic book store, gather together, carefully read and then never under any circumstances touch again in order to preserve them for the far distant future when I would sell them off and become independently wealthy... now they're just extraneous shit standing between my wife and the easy, proper storage of her shoes.

And then later I had the green-light from Mrs. Pops to go out and spend discretionary income on stuff I didn't need. I need her permission because I don't do math, which makes her the Household Accountant by default. The good news is that when all of your money is tied up in credit card debt, student loans and a big fat mortgage, it's all suddenly discretionary. There's nothing more liberating than finally admitting to yourself that you're never, ever going to catch up, financially speaking.

Anyway, I walked into Best Buy and walked out with... nothing. Nothing. Not one single new game for my PC. No peripherals, no new CDs, nothing. And then I went right over the Barnes & Noble and bought a fat armload of old-people books (The Joy of Flannel, Home Linamenting and Decrepitude for Dummies).

Man. Back in high school I used to be all about comic books and computer games. All my youthful priorities have been completely fucked up.

I know what you're thinking: "Pops, how did you get anything done in high school? With such a wide and varied range of interests, every free minute must have been occupied banging cheerleaders three at a time?"

The obvious answer is, I didn't. Junior college, bitches. Junior college.

Sadly and ironically, my juco days turned out to be the first step along the path to where I find myself now, tragically and irrevocably adult.

Well, mostly. I do blog. So I can't be all grown up.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 10.0


*= honestly, I have to find something healthier to spread on my sandwiches.


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