The birthday milestones passed unheeded. As a friend wrote, I never seem to know what age I actually am. (I still don’t know without some elaborate counting). The number of years don’t seem to mean anything at all. Wrinkles – pshaw! Gravity – whatever. But grey hair… OMG. And so, it seems I’ve discovered what my greatest vanity is; how weird that it should be something I generally pay very little attention to.
I was entirely unprepared for the horror, when I saw it in the well-lit, magnified mirror of a hairdresser. It triggered an unreasoning panic and emergency stock-taking of the “youth squandered! achievements nil!” kind.
My memory is already mostly gone – I never remember to do things (one of my colleagues recently told me I needed a wife. This is an uncomfortable corollary of the time a friend walked into my apartment when it wasn’t inspection-ready, looked around for a few minutes in growing delight and said “but you’re a guy”). On the plus side, of course, there are some stupid things I’ll never do again. Then again, they were fun at the time. Screw wisdom, I’d like the pigments back.
One of my best friends from college just joined my office. How strange to be sitting down to lunch 20 years later, peering into each other’s lunch boxes and offering to share food. Now we talk about travelling with children, staff meetings and how we only register our own aging by the fact that our little brothers are over 30, but I notice we laugh just as much as we did. And what a relief to talk unreservedly to someone in an office that, after nearly two years, is still the big dark. How nice to speak in the same voices, to recognize mannerisms and verbal shortcuts, just as if I didn’t have one foot in the grave.
But it’s all downhill from here. I feel it in my pre-osteoporotic bones.
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