The Nasty Aging of Getting Fuckin’ OLD


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The Nasty Aging of Getting Fuckin’ OLD

When You Get Old

Looking at gorgeous women, no matter what it was like when you were young too, the confusion you felt, your uncertainty about them and the pure mystery doesn’t matter anymore no matter what style of beauty and wonder they presented: When that day comes you’ll know it, because not even if and when they pull back the veil hiding themselves to peak at you will you care.

Most People

Including me like to see pictures of pretty people

And would like to think of ourselves as deserving of being in such pictures. and even imagine that we BELONG in such pictures . . . Need I really say anything more? Post script: to paraphrase the great artist Diane Arbus: ‘You can tell by looking at people what their intentions are, how they desire to be seen, and what fascinates is the extent of separation between their intentions and the actual effect of their choices.’ So, hey pretty people, I’d suggest you enjoy it while it lasts.

Nothing Left to Lose

And I gotta tell you, it’s a shock!

I am an old man now. I can check every fuckin’ box on the Surprise, Yer-An-Old-Motherfucker Checklist.

I won’t list them all, here and now, because I’m too old to remember them, but trust me, if you ran down a list of stereotypes you carry about getting and being old, I’d just sit here and nod:

yep, yep, yep.

Most of them (truths about getting old) don’t matter. Most of it is unavoidable. If you don’t die younger, yer gonna get older and eventually old. And either way, yer gonna die.

I won’t try to tell you everything you need to know, nor will I try to guess what your specific situation may demand of you.

But for me getting old all boils down to this, the essence of aging is that you must find a place where you still feel, or maybe feel it for the first time EVER feel deeply comfortable in your own skin (sagging and wrinkly as that skin may be.)

Again, for me, as any of you who read me either occasionally or frequently can testify, my lifelong interest in politics, justice, fairness and figuring out right from wrong (often at considerable pain to myself and others) has led me to where I am.

My greatest usefulness now is to make the small platform I’ve built for myself a place where I hold nothing back on relationships, sexual and otherwise, friendships or animosities, artistic efforts, loved or loathed, experiences cherished or dismissed remembered or willingly forgotten but most of all, I understand that my deeply help beliefs in regards the evils in our present day politics, especially fascism, and the horrors of it in our day to day unfolding of public life, is the place where my age and accumulated wisdom has the most value.

About half my writing now is about these matters, just an old guy screaming into the howling winds about the dangers of the storm.

And here’s the part about getting old; the part that you really can’t grasp until you get here yourself — when you are old you have much less to lose, no matter how blessed and successful and wealthy you are what difference does that make any longer? You can tell the truth as you see it and know it to be true. And you can let that wind howl, the rain driving fiercely into your naked face and you can laugh out loud, about it all, angry or joyful laughter, but fearless because, you got nothing left to lose.

Chipper & Dapper

And other considerations of getting old...

At 73 years old it occurs to you, albeit belatedly, that waiting ’til you’re 73 to try and pull together new writing that emphasizes the positive might not have been the best idea/plan you ever had. There’re a lot more things to be grumpy about the older you get than there are things that make you feel all chipper and dapper (whatever the fuck that means!) Nonetheless, on the other side of the equation; if you’re still vertical hey, that counts for something. And even while you sit, typing with your eternal two fingers method, you can appreciate being able to do that so, cheer up you got that going for you.

Allen & Walt

How is it possible that just now, when I need/want it, I can’t find my Whitman Leaves of Grass 1858 edition?

I wanted to see what Allen Ginsberg found so amusing about Walt’s final poems?

It’s amazing how my greatness may be thwarted by simple alphabetizing errors and lazy old man sloppiness...

Wait, I’ll bet that is what Ginsberg was thinking about... to hell with him.

The attainment of elderly status is not more welcome in the writing of poems than in any other sphere.

Old is fuckin’ old and you don’t need Allen or Walt or me, for that matter, to tell you.

Just Weighing

Photo by Laura Chouette on Unsplash

Photo by Jessica Favaro on Unsplash