Where did it all go? How did it vanish before my eyes?
A lesson for all you young boys. Heed the future. And if you are brave, ignore the past. That trite garbage you hear about “living today as if it was the last day of your life?”… Why yes, breathe in the last breath of your youth, because there is no more from where it spawned from. Youth is an exhaustible reserve. If you are bold and stupid enough to squander it, you will never reclaim it. They will laugh at you if you try.
I used to laugh at the stooped old men, so devoid of life and cascading down the final white water rapids of mortality. I actually thought I might defeat it. Age, the arch enemy. I might be able to swim upstream like the ridiculous salmon pipe dream of nature. When you’re young, testosterone is the mightiest drug. You are tweaking off the rush of life.
I once dared life. Yes, I dared it. I taunted mortality and I won the battles, but the War remained the notion that I, nor anyone else, consciously did not acknowledge because the battle is too exciting! I lived fast and furious. You push everything to its absolute infinite edge and lazily assume you’ll be fortunate enough to wake up in your own bed tomorrow, maybe puking all over the floor or the sheets, but still free and alive. It all works out in the end. You bang yourself up. The winners are bruised and they write about the finish line, whatever that is. The finish line is the finish line. You reach it, perhaps you don’t. I read stories in the news of kids who never reached the finish line. These make scintillating news tales of doom and we all love to read about that. Doom is magnetic, but let it not be our own!
I used to race up and down Sunset Boulevard’s twists between Hollywood and Pacific Palisades while drunk. I lived hard, drank hard, crashed hard. In 2005 I almost crashed for good. But still, I was 40…I came back for more! I believe the 45- through -50 segment of your life is that intimidating fork in the road where your body begins to depart from your mind. If your mind does not keep pace, you are in for a sore disappointment when you wake up one day and you don’t recognize the shell of your former body of vigor. The long day’s journey into night begins its final descent and bright days fall pale as you curl up in the drafty corner and crave the energy to merely desire.
The legacy of our youth lives in our bone’s brittle memories, exhausted memories which seek to relive that which is beyond our grasp.
You try but can no longer summon the gusto. When the gusto does return, it is for sporadic unrehearsed curtain calls. You greet them with a cheer and smile and they answer by retreating quickly into the darkness of the stage’s hinterlands once gain. Each failed encore entices your mind with a fresh memory which was nothing but a hopeful masquerade.
Some nights, the sensation of draining energy is palpable and your skeleton shrinks before your eyes as it flows out.
We were not designed to grow old like this. It’s unnatural.