Thursday, September 25, 2008

I Was So Much Older Then...

Lisa left a comment on an earlier post to the effect that based on my appearances in this blog

...versus my earlier incarnation as a Lebanese taxi driver (or possibly a Turkish drummer. But I don't know much about Turkish drummers...) that I appear to have..."aged well", I think is the term I'm looking for.

I would like to think that were true, and the witty and fetching Lisa is a gentlewoman and a scholar for saying so.

But.

The camera, though it may shade the truth a teensy bit, doesn't lie like Tony Snow or a Baghdad PAO. It is not true.

I am a pale imitation of the fierce rascal I was in my burgeoning youth. Ah! What a burning devil I was then...all hard corners and hard muscle, sharp enough to cut with, full of the juices of arrogant life, immortal, irrepressible...bulletproof and invisible. I was like a human tequila advertisment.

And the odd thing is...I don't think I'm that much different from that younger man. It's like I'm trapped inside this meatsuit that has a 40-inch waist and creaky knees and a stiff back and failing eyesight. I look in the mirror expecting in vain to see that dark hatchet face staring back at me. William Manchester says something similar in his memoir "Goodbye Darkness": he meets his younger self in dreams, and the younger man is horrified by the gray, portly old feeb he has become.

I've never asked her, but I'll bet that my beloved Mojo feels the same way; who snuck in and put this domesticated Mommybot in the place......of the pixie-faced girl who was so witty, sexy and alluring?At least she lured a Gray Jay or three in her time.

(For the record: I think my love is still a witty, sexy, alluring adorable. Maybe not so much "pixie-faced". But how many fourtysomething pixies do you know?)

So I'm afraid that the whirligig of time has brought in its revenges on me, and my Love. But for every loss there is a gain to balance it, for every success a little sorrow to even the scales. I am kinder now, wiser, slower to judge. If my fire burns less fiercely it burns longer, and the coals give a warmth I did not feel when I was all flame and light. I have lost the desire to love madly for the delight in loving well. If the lovemaking is less...athletic...the touch of soft skin is more delightful, and breathless moment more lingering.

I am content.

And my love?

She will always have this moment to relish: her birthday, 1999, when her then-ex (left) and two then-friends provided cake and candles before a celebratory bike ride.When I asked her why she loved this photograph so much, she replied: "Because I'm the only one who looks good. And I do. And you all look like such huge fucking goobers."

I love you, honey. As you say it; so shall it be.

6 comments:

sheerahkahn said...

Old age hits you like a 275lb linebacker on a all-come blitz, but the thing is you never see him coming.
Nope, I'm now discovering new aches and pains in muscles that have long laid dormant because my knees were shot.
But last years acl replacement surgery overturned my excuses, along with my hot little honey taking up running, all has gotten me up and about running as well.
Well, we'll call it "running" but for right now when I pass people they look at me with concern, "shall I call someone?" or
"oh dear, someone help that poor man!"
And as I look at the young, and all their antics and I can't help think to what Shakespear noted, "Youth is wasted on the young."
But still, when I look back on the pictures of yesteryear...nah, it's done and gone, and I'm kinda liking being known as a little curmudgeonly...heh...when I was a young guy I always thought Gandalf was so cool...and in some ways...I like to think that I'm somewhat like that character.

sheerahkahn said...

lol...just reread that post...probably should do that before I post, but character...oh yeah, I think my wife would label me as one.
ah...well, nevermind.

walternatives said...

I personally love Goobers. One, anyway....

Lisa said...

Ah, Chief, you are yet a fierce rascal!

Your rhetoric is scorching and brilliant, funny and eviscerating all at once. Yes, you were quite dapper, but you still are. Your irrepressible rascal nature is evident in your eyes and your smile.

To me, many men go through an "awkward period," often in their 30's or 40's. Some emerge for the better, in a more handsome incarnation, but not all. You are one who did! I think men in that category continue to grow more alluring over time.

Your sentiments re. the opposite sex are a large part of that allure. It is heartening to me to read of your growing appreciation for deep engagement. It is really what we all hope for, all people of feeling who value communion over fear. Thank you for sharing yourself in writing.

FDChief said...

Lisa, can you feel me blushing through the DSL connection?

I am justly silenced, given that your image as portrayed in your words is, as Shelley wrote:

"She walks in beauty,
like the night of climes,
starry skies, and all that's best
of dark and light
meet in her aspect, and her eyes."

Do, tak.

Lisa said...

Thank you for your kind and gracious words, Chief. You are a man of sentiment, and it is my great pleasure to know you.