How does one know when age is setting in?
Why can’t there be some definitive number?
I’d like to know.
This week started so great,
A couple of quick runs, two good workouts,
Then,
Zzzzzz…

Lots of food, plenty of water, really good sleep,
But the tropics are pumping that humidity
And I’d like to blame my late week malaise on that,
I fear, however, the time is catching up with me
The runs? Too fast. The lifting? Fit for a kid.
Maybe I am one of those domino dots,
In line for the inevitable fall.

Eff that, the last two run, solid,
Quick for an old guy.
Instead of beating it up with iron,
A good amount of stretching, maybe adding some suppleness,
Flexibility… I’ve never been known for that,
Physical or mental, it’s nice to improve both of those.
Yeah, I’m getting older.

I’ve grown weary,
Some might call me old,
My daughter did the other day
After we rode sixteen miles and
I changed my shirt in the parking lot
Next to the trail,
All proud of my fitness gains
When she said,
“White chest hairs, you’re old.”

That’s not why I’m weary,
I’ve just grown tired of uncertainty.
We’re open, we’re not, you’re teaching this way,
You’re not, he said, she said, guidance, no guidance.
It’s too much waffling,
Too much dodging,
Way too many chestnuts…see Goggins.
I’m just soooo,
Tired.

When I was a kid, I didn’t think adults knew anything,
They talked about their hard upbringings,
The lessons they had learned,
I thought they were dumb.
Now I’m an old guy, tasked with teaching the yutes,
And I still think the adults are lacking.
I’m not sure where that leaves me
Probably in the old grumpy guy zone,
With wisps of white chest hair.

Yesterday was hot,
Temperatures up, stairs up, tempers up,
It’s was one of those days.

My son was moving,
From a ground floor apartment,
To a third floor loft,
In an old row home.
That’s right, narrow stairs,
Steep stairs,
Lots of effing stairs.

The moving crew,
Him,
My daughter,
Me.
‘Nuff said.

Things went well,
Just hot, my clothes soaked,
But we were done with the heavy lifting quickly,
Maybe just an hour or so of moving.

Today, however, I’m exhausted,
Tired legs, sore back, a return of the clicking neck,
It’s like I got older over night.

Then today, a trip to the eye doctor,
There’s no delaying anymore,
It’s back to full time frames, the surgery has run its course,
The readers have met their end,
Sunglasses are finished,
It’s time for progressive-transitions
Which is exactly what I think getting older is,
A progressive transition.

Later today, it’s the dreaded dentist,
I hate that experience.
Next week blood work,
For no other reason than I haven’t seen a doctor in,
Well…
Four…y…
A long time.

The last time was traumatic,
Leading to a complete flushing of my innards,
Some interesting cinematic experiences, and
The best Monte Cristo sandwich ever.
Come to think of it, maybe the last one I’ve had
Since I went to the doctor last.

At least that won’t show up in my lipid profile.

The ways things sneak up on you,

Graduations, high school, college…
Jobs, part-time, full-time, the end of a career…

It seems like they come from nowhere,
One davit’s the hassle of finding a ride,
The next you’re driving,
Then all of sudden people you went to school with
Are having serious health problems or passing on.

These things sneak up on you,

Getting old…
Failing health…

It’s always a shock when the call comes,
Two classmates died over the last two months,
One had a minor stroke,
Another lost a parent, and I’m thinking I should still
Be riding and running like I did as a kid.

Maybe that’s why everything sneaks up on me.

What kind of sucks,
Is that no matter how much or how hard
I work out,
I’m still not getting much better.
My times aren’t improving,
My soreness doesn’t go away as fast,
I’m really holding on.
As Jackson Browne sang, “Time the conqueror.”

It hit me hard today,
I was running with my stepson,
I ran my first marathon around the time he was born,
He’s sixteen now and ready to drive,
To bad for him DMV isn’t open for testing, yet, pandemic and all.
Anyway, I have one rule for people I run with
Go as fast as you go, slower or faster than me,
But go your own way.

And that he did,
Leaving me alone in a field as he sped into the woods
A mere two minutes or so into a four-mile run.
He’s powerful, assertive, unbothered by roots and rocks
Because he can pick his feet up when he runs.
I can’t sustain that, shuffle ensues, and then I have to be careful,
Not so much so that I don’t push, but
It is so that I’m not sixteen anymore.

It’s not often I dream anymore,
Not of the corporeal,
Not of the surreal,
Not at all.
The days of the dreaming,
The nights of the dreaming,
They just don’t seem to enter my mind,
Awake
Or
Asleep.

I wonder if it’s all over,
The excitement,
The uncertainty,
The causes,
Purpose
And
Practice.

Yet today, under a gray sky
My mind went wild,
Playing a cinema as I took a siesta,
One where the drama of man
Waged war against itself
As I documented its inhumanity
Without fear for my life.
I awoke to the idea of more,
More than work,
I was all too aware, however,
Of the danger in dreams,
Corporeal, surreal, or whatever their form.

A young man’s life has passed
Leaving opportunity to wasted time.
There are no revolutions to experience,
No adrenaline pumping scenarios,
No more.
There aren’t any stories of danger,
Adventures where survival was in doubt,
Where luck played a part.

Now the dreams are about paying for health care,
What to do when the lease is up,
Where to go after retirement,
And I’m scared.
I’m still young, able, wanting of excitement
Beyond this shitty lemonade margarita and
Comfortable suburban lifestyle
I have accepted as my way.
Protest, passion, play,
They don’t stop when the wrinkles arrive,
So why should the dreams?

I would love to know El Salvador,
Compton, Uganda.
I wonder if I could have survived
A career as a journalist, a night at CBGBs, or summer in Alaska.
What if I had just said eff it,
Where would I be now?
Chances not taken = chances missed…

Perhaps it was fear,
Perhaps duty,
Always a misguided perception
That there was a pattern to living,
One where the safety of it all
Is the way it is supposed to be.
True, after a point, but
A fallacy of a blueprint.
There was more,
There is more,
These morsels of life that I’m nibbling on
Only frustrate me when I hear what others have done,
Experienced,
The danger, the uncertainty, the courting of both
Where life, purpose, and meaning
Put away any thought of dreaming.

Because it is how it is,
It is the way they made it.

Perhaps today is a new beginning.
Maybe the cockles of my adventure seeking self
Will finally come to life.
Should it be,
I hope I am ready,
For a dream such as the one I had today
Will not burn forever.

Go, Hanee,
There is more out there.