I Just Turned EightySubmitted by Murphy1844 at 2010-09-23 05:50:45 EDT
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That’s eight-zero, or 80 for the younger ones.
And I’m not sad. I’m not afraid. A poet once said this, about madness:
“I have felt the wind of the wing of madness.”
I don’t feel that way about madness, I feel that way about death. Death has fanned me with its wings and I have simply laid down and smiled at my last, at any time, breath of clean air. And death is not bad and it’s not scary. I’m actually pretty fucking happy now, not to be vulgar and youth-like in my language.
I’m no longer seventy, and I really don’t care, or long as I did when I was thirty, thinking about when I was twenty, or when I was forty thinking about what I was like when I was thirty. Time (and a lot of it) has passed since those days.
And I’m not scared.
The only thing that scares me is thinking about other people around me who are scared for me. They look at me and seem to feel pity for me. They almost seemed frightened when they look at me. This truly upsets me.
I have a feeling why. I think they see their own mortality staring them straight in the face. I’m old and wrinkled, and they see themselves as being old and wrinkled. Time, after all, is not on our side.
Another author and one who is quite famous said this, about depression:
“I have of late, and wherefore I know not, lost all my mirth.”
I have plenty of mirth. It isn’t natural mirth... it comes from sips of my wine glass from squirts of a tap from boxes with clever and seductive pictures on them. But whatever mirth may be missing, I compensate with sneaky grape-juice. Some say I am cheating in this respect.
I say, so what? I’ve been warned my entire life, even once by the government with prohibition and all that non-sense, to avoid strong waters. I’ve ignored them all, all the warnings. I’ve been warned about the dangers of smoking-- this only recently, in about the last thirty or so years-- and I’ve headed that warning and stopped smoking. I don’t wander why about this decision to stop smoking... it was a decision I made because I, unlike those unkind eyes that constantly graze upon my old and wrinkled body, actually think life is decent and worth living, no matter what the hard-ship and pain is and has or will ever be is.
Listen: I wake up every morning and it takes me a few minutes to figure out where I am. It wasn’t like that only a few years ago.
Listen: After I find out where I am, I think about getting a glass of wine so I can wake up and feel comfortable. I swallow my medications with my wine.
Listen: I spend the rest of the day listening to the radio and telling stories in my head. When real live people are around to listen to me, I tell them my stories. Most of them don’t listen, but I keep telling the stories for my own sake, so that I can hear my own voice and so that I can feel like I’m not alone in this world.
At thirty I wandered what forty would be like. At twenty, I thought I wouldn’t live much longer, because the fear of getting older scared the shit out of me. There is no way you can know what getting old and being old is like, until you get old and be old. Trust me, I’m eighty. At 80, -- and please believe me and smile at me and leave me alone, because I am not afraid. There’ nothing to be afraid of. I wasn’t afraid of being born. It’s the same thing when I die. I’m not said either. I’m tired. I’m bored. And I love sleeping. Listen to me: Listen:
I’m not afraid, and I’m not sad.