On Turning 39

I remember all of my birthdays, starting with the one to commemorate my turning 6. I had a Batman cake that year, and I recall the Batman looked a little wilted, and I said as much to my mother. It was the old school Batman with the non-form fitting suit. In fact, if I’m not … Continue reading On Turning 39

The Nick Nolte Syndrome

“Strange, don’t you think I’m looking older? Something good has happened to me. Change is a stranger you have yet to know.” ~George Michael You know those actors who never seem to age, the ones like Courteney Cox, who is virtually indistinguishable from her initial Friends foray over 20 years ago, or Will Smith, who … Continue reading The Nick Nolte Syndrome

Ten Years in One Night

How did I get here? I got home last night in a drunken haze from whatever party came after the party I actually got invited to. At least I thought I was home, but this bed feels strange, hard and lumpy like old oatmeal, and my eyes are slow to open. When they finally do I can see a ceiling fan blurry above my head. It’s whirling around so fast I wouldn’t be able to make out the individual blades even if my vision were normal.

My back hurts, too. Not a shooting ache but a dull one that usually comes from having slept on it wrong for too long. When I passed out I must have landed awkwardly on this strange bed, or perhaps it’s a futon. I slowly sit up in bed and force my eyes open more than just the slits they were. I stretch my arms above my head and notice they seem to have lost some definition. Instead of my firm biceps I see some give to them, as if gravity is fighting to drag them down, and is doing a good job of getting it done. It doesn’t compute.

The old, threadbare slippers I’ve had for years that don’t fit me anymore are gone from the foot of the bed, not that I thought they’d be there anyway, but I have to find out where I am. And suddenly I hear a noise behind my back, like a muffled thump, and I turn to see what’s over there. To my shock the thump I heard is identified as a small, mousy woman with stringy brown hair who is on the floor on the other side of the bed. I find my glasses on the side table and slip them on. When did I start wearing glasses?

Everything comes into focus then — the woman, who has obviously just been woken up by her fall from the bed, the ceiling fan above my head, and the sounds of running feet in the hallway outside of the closed door.

“What the…” says the woman in a gruff voice, obviously startled by the fall.

“Who are you?” I respond, still out of it myself.

She looks at me as if I’ve grown a second head.

“Don’t get started this morning, Murray, not until I’ve had my cup of coffee,” she says, dragging herself up from the floor. I notice she is naked, and I quickly look away, first because I don’t know her, and second because she is older. Quite a bit. By at least ten years. And those ten years have not been kind. Continue reading “Ten Years in One Night”

When I’m Old

When I’m old I want to be vibrant To sparkle with life Not wither and fade Like weather vanes In a dry season I want to still dream These young man’s dreams To fall and rise again As persistent as time With its staid patterns Yet random in places Where you can find me Never … Continue reading When I’m Old