Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Remains of a day...and a life.
Most of the time I'm thankful to have a job, but today wasn't one of those days. I struggled with foreign doctors mangling English and American doctors turning the simple sound of words into a horror fest of sound and fury signifying nothing. That makes it really difficult to type up an accurate operative note. But that's the way some of my days have been going. Then I moved to the fun portion of the day.
A post about sex on another journal put me head to head, as always, with AJ who did his best to warn me that now I've reached the age of 50 I have very little time to look forward to love or a productive, interesting or even happy life. He says that since looks deteriorate there is no sense hoping for love or keeping anyone around because I'll be broken down. Now while I will admit that when I get up in the morning I sound like a robot who forgot his daily dose of WD40 and really needs a fix, I don't think I'm broken down yet. According to AJ, I have about five years left to enjoy my life before I'm ready for the bone yard, or should start looking for a nice place to take the long dirt nap. Old people do not truly love; they "...are living off memories from when they were capable of love." He also said that old people have no justification to their existence and that men age better than women because they do things. He cited Sean Connery (that man will justify his existence and my irregular and fast-paced heartbeat long after he is dead) and the Pope who aged well, but that is marred by still having to put up with women. I keep wondering when he's going to climb that tower with a high powered rifle and a duffel bag full of ammo, but he says he's a really good actor when he "wants/needs to be." Frightening thought. What's puzzling about him is his email: reallyhotnakedman -- he's a virgin.
I can feel Kevorkian coming up the road to put me down the day after I turn 55. Better get on the Appalachian and Colorado Trails soon or I won't be allowed to go because I have no justification to my existence. Then again, a 21-year-old who thinks that way would have been perfect for Logan's world and Carousel, especially if he took his turn NOW! I can't imagine being that cynical and dissatisfied with life. In many ways it's sad he thinks that way because he really does believe there is nothing worth living for and that the future is a bleak, black void in the first circle of hell. Of course he works at Wal-Mart. That accounts for most of his problems and his views. That would depress anyone. I'm beginning to wonder if Kevorkian shouldn't visit AJ and put him out of his misery and save the people in the line queuing up to push him into a bathtub full of water, razors and cyanide from deciding who goes first. He even hates parades. To get no joy from life is becoming a national past time.
People buy lots of things, travel, go out to eat, even carry on seemingly normal lives, but they get no joy from their lives or they wouldn't keep buying more stuff they don't need and planning exotic vacations where they whine and complain that they are not being served as the wondrous gift to the gods they are, substituting possessions and shopping for an actual life.
Poor AJ is going to college but it seems he doesn't get much joy there either. He's missed the whole point and he isn't alone.
After talking to him, and sharing some of his notes with a friend, I went downstairs to take a shower and then go to town to run errands. I cleaned out some of my excess books (fewer to pack), put them in a canvas back (the ones from Winter Park Market) and hit the road. The books went to the library in Fraser. They'll put some on the shelves and sell the rest to raise money. I figure since most of them were free books for me to read and review I should send them to a good home so other people can enjoy them. I have so many -- and it makes room for new books. Esther took the books, sans black makeup, mole nose, and granny glasses (they dressed up on Monday like characters from Wind in the Willows).
Went to the grocery store and nearly got blown off the road by the rising wind. The mountain peaks near Berthoud Pass were wreathed in thick white clouds and what few patches of blue remained were quickly being covered by gray steel wool and ominous storm clouds. After dragging my bags to the car and getting nearly blown off my feet, I fought the bucking cart to the corral and let the wind run me back to the car and inside, my hair blowing in the wind and getting caught in the door when it slammed shut. I wrestled the car door open long enough to save my hair just before the wind slammed the door again and rocked the car. Not so long ago the wind couldn't have knocked me around quite so much but I have lost some of my ballast and it looks like more is finding its way off this sinking ship in my remaining years of justification to live.
At any rate, I fought my way down the road back home, stopping to drop off some mail. The wild west store front of the post office and local tackle shop was crawling with kids getting out of school, among them two boys who were wrestling and landed on the hood of my car. Fearing my wrath for damaging my dented and mud-encased car, they scurried for cover, putting smaller and younger children between them and me as I emerged from the car, certain of a protracted, painful and bloody death. I shook my head and smiled, telling them not to worry. They didn't believe me. I could see it in their eyes. Visions of witches in gingerbread cottages danced in their eyes as they backed away, using the younger and tenderer kids as protection, offering them up so the wrestlers could run when I clutched the sweet morsels in my clawed grasp. I laughed and pushed open the post office door and walked inside to mail my letters. When I returned they were gone. No surprise there.
Back on the road, the wind tossed me back and forth like a shuttlecock until I turned into the road to the highlands and the relative safety of hills and pine trees swaying like hula dancers doing the limbo, ending up behind two large trucks toiling up the serpentine incline. I had barely gotten inside and put away the groceries, was sitting down to make my afternoon call to chat with a friend, when snow swirled and danced outside the windows, covering the deck in white and pinging against the windows. The brewing storm broke. I watched the storm half expecting to see the Snow Queen forming on the deck, but it was too blustery for her evidently.
As much as I am looking forward to the move, there are so many things I'm going to miss. Like snow storms and stars so clear you can tough them in the utterly black night sky. Pine trees bending toward the ground while the winds stomp across the roof. Elk and mule deer harems and the buck and bulls who come to the deck to graze and stare when I call to them and hummingbirds that whistle through the sky to join me for breakfast, squabbling and dog fighting for a seat near my plate. The ladies at the library who always greet me with a smile and share reviews of books or point me to new releases. The guys at the post office and John at Safeway who makes beautiful Navajo jewelry and knows about herbs. The ladies at Winter Park Market who have seen me through food poisoning and the flu that took everyone so long to get over. The couple in Granby who own the movie theater and the little corner where I can fondle sharp weapons. The quiet solitude and so much more.
AJ, you're wrong. I don't have five years left to justify my existence; I have centuries because I will live the rest of my life, challenging myself and the world, and leave behind me these words. I'm going to live, live, live until I die.