“..breath deep, the gathering gloom.”
In three weeks time I will be fifty years old.
I have a problem with that. I have a real problem with that. I hate my birthday at the best of times–August in general tends to be a very bad month for me–but this birthday is worse than usual. Forty wasn’t so bad. When I turned forty I was making some changes, some positive, some less so, but forty felt like a milestone.
Fifty, though? Fifty is how old dead people are.
I am trying not to let it get to me. I am still doing things. I am working towards launching a new project that I am very excited about. I still have full mobility, still have full use of my hands–I hurt a lot, much of the time, but I can still walk and type and build. I know, intellectually, that my life is not over.
Damn, but it feels that way some times.
Age is just a number? Really, gosh, that’s so comforting. Radiation dosage is just a number, too, how does 2500 rad grab you, asshole?
There’s so much that I haven’t done. There’s so much that I don’t believe that I will ever do, now. It’s hard not to be bitter about that.
I look around me, and I see a very bad world to grow old in. I don’t see that changing any time soon, either. This isn’t a world that has the inclination or the resources to care for people who can’t care for themselves. I am terrified of growing weak. I’ve always survived by being tougher than the world–stronger, faster, smarter, more willing to do whatever needs to be done. I feel that slipping away now.
I am not scared of dying. Death is natural, inevitable. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t understand that we are all going to die and accept that. I am scared of pain, and helplessness, and slow decay. I am scared of getting old.
“…breath deep, the gathering gloom
watch lights fade from every room
bedsitter people look back and lament
another day’s useless energy spent
impassioned lovers wrestle as one
lonely man cries for love and has none
new mother picks up and suckles her son
senior citizens wish they were young
cold hearted orb that rules the night
removes the colours from our sight
red is gray and yellow white
but we decide which is right
and which is an illusion”