I was thinking about growing older today when I caught a glimpse of William Shatner in the bathroom mirror. I'm only 44 - young, in terms of middle age - and I'm fighting time as best as I can with Noxema, a low carb diet, tweezers for gray nose hairs & pubes, and extra starch around the love handles. No, I don't look "young" anymore, but I'm also a good two decades away from becoming Buddy Hackett. I'm lucky in that the flattop I've worn for the last 20 years has incorporated my bald spot to a point, and also that my wardrobe - though it may have been bought at Kohls - has so far avoided the temptation of comfort over style.
I don't feel old so much as I feel a little behind the times. I try to stay hip by keeping familiar with electronics & social media, but I hate both blue-tooth phones and and frivolous FaceBook tweets. I really felt behind the times last weekend, while watching HBO's Game of Thrones. It was a decent show, but the only thing I could say when finished was, "Christ, that was a lot of penises." I later learned that the series is known for its nudity.
Please understand that I'm NOT complaining about aging; I've just been more aware of it lately, and I've grown a little reflective. I've lived more at 44 than most people have done in their lifetimes. Even though I don't remember my 20s, I know I had fun because I woke up on my 30th birthday with a new Phoenix apartment, a whiskey hangover, and $14,000 in credit card debt. My 40th birthday was a little less intense, but not for the lack of trying.
I hit 44 last week and I've slipped into a Charlie Brown melancholy. Publishing Goodbye to Beekman Place is definitely the start of the next phase of life, but I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do next. I'm don't know how to find "joy."
All I'm really certain about is that if I DO develop prostate problems this decade, if I'm ever in a public restroom, I'll pee sitting down.