…Was written on the envelope of my birthday card, signed from “Your Old Man.” The guy’s known me since he was 15. I’m two years older. Today I’m 54. And we’re still friends. But that’s a story for another day.
Point is, this “getting old” thing. It’s a fascinating process and a bad joke all rolled up in one.
Yeah, sure, we all know we’re gonna die. One day. When that day is, where we go and what we do from that point on has yet TBD. But, I kid you not, it’s coming. I know because I’ve gotten plenty of phone calls telling me someone has died. (Please Note: Do not inform people that I’ve passed. Tell’em I’m dead and hang up.)
Besides soothing sick dogs as they got the Big Needle or watching newborn kittens die in the palm of my hand, I’ve never witnessed the moment of Death. So, today, even if the finality of my own last breath is still beyond my emotional reach, don’t worry, I certainly get the “getting old” part.
More chin hair. Less head hair. The first sagging fold line around my neck like a choker. My body has gone to seed. My breeding cycle is over. My job here is done. I can die now. Most days you may feel like your life is going in circles. But, darling, it’s linear and finite. That’s the Bad Joke part.
But, from the Fascinating Process (i.e.: Poke It with a Stick) side of my brain, these slight but progressive physical changes are just further confirmation that there is no god, just nature. And I say that with the most non-deity, asexual, purely scientific terminology I can muster. We are, for the moment, merely the apexes of the biped, carbon-based life forms on this tiny blue planet. Because, come on, look up at all those stars! Odds are we’re not the only game in town.
Besides, I’m not even sure that humans are the highest form of intelligent life on Earth. I mean, at my age, would a blue whale be worried about how she looked in a skirted bathing suit?