Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Near-Birthday & Anniversary

In ten days I’ll be 81, not a prime number thanks to nine. This means if you placed nine candles in a row and then another nine perpendicular to those and made a square and filled it in and then lit them all you would have 81 before the house burned down.

I prefer to think that I’m thirty-one years into my fifties. At a certain point in life we do not get any older except in our eyes, ears, skin and bones. I’m sure all my friends would agree. I’m so fortunate to have friends older than me. It has kept me young, at least in my delusional state.

Bette Davis who famously declared that old age is not for sissies, proved it by dying at eight-one. Boris Karloff also checked out at this age. He had a career scaring the hell out of people long enough. He was first cast as Frankenstein nosing out Bela Lugosi for the part when the producer started laughing at Lugosi’s make-up. Karloff was fitted with eleven pound shoes to give him the monster walk. No wonder he didn’t make it to eight-two. Lugosi had to settle for Dracula. Between Boris and Bela I probably lost a few years.

It serves no purpose to compare one’s life with another’s but one can’t help themselves imagine what Schubert or Mozart would have accomplished having been allotted this life span. Suffice it to say that I have lived the years of John Lennon plus Geoge Gershwin with two years left over.

I’m told I’ve been living all this time on the cusp of Pisces and Aries. No wonder my back is giving out balancing the fish and the ram, half in water half finding my feet. It’s been an amphibious life. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

At one time Peggy was twelve years older than I but over the years she continues to lose a year every birthday. Four days after March 21 we will celebrate our first thirty years together, our brief encounter.  In 1984 I made the leap to a safe unknown, from nothing to everything. I heard her reciting the Emancipation Proclamation on the back forty. Actually if I were in bondage it was of my own making.  But Peggy reminded me of my vestigial wings.

Every day is the anniversary of yesterday. Traveling together this far is reason enough for celebration. Another thirty years would make medical history. I don’t wish to be greedy. I’ll take one decade at a time.

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