It is the seventh night of Chanukah and I can’t stop thinking about how I am the oldest man in my line.
Dad was here yesterday and now he is gone and I have new responsibilities that I didn’t ask for but no one ever does and I am ok with that.
He prepared for me for it but I can’t say it was intentional any more than my grandfather prepared him or my great-grandfather prepared my grandfather.
The flames of the candle burn bright and I hear the echoes of holidays past and wonder a bit about the future. Bought a ticket to go back to LA for a quick trip.
Going to zoom in and out and will make a point to visit dad to fill him in on all that has happened. In some ways it feels like not much and yet there is so much.
I’ll tell him about work and the question of the antisemite at the school and tell him I am working out like a fiend not just because of my own health needs but because I hear this funny echo.
It’s probably nothing, probably tied into my heightened awareness of things and the PTSD of the last year. Probably tied int0 my recognition that 50 is coming at me like a freight train and things don’t work exactly as they should.
But then again, thanks to the miracle of modern medicine I left the gym today feeling better than I have felt in forever. My energy level is shooting up and I am beginning to recognize how bad things had gotten.
That is the joy of life, some stories end so others can begin.
Look at the guy in the photo and you know how I feel with regularity but you don’t get the full picture.
Because I always find a way to flip over and try to land like a cat.
Yeah, I dislike cats but compared myself to them anyway…sort of. You’ll never call me catlike unless it is like a tiger or lion attacking food but even then probably not.
And even when I fall I always manage to bounce off the sides of the cliff and hit every other bush and or cactus on the way down. Age makes it harder to get up with the same ease but I still walk on my own.
There is no one else capable of picking me up or caring for me. Got to stand and walk because it is part of life. You get up and go or you die.
Can’t die yet, can’t quit.
Put 250 on the bar and put it up, can go heavier but didn’t. Went to the tricep pushdown and hit a 100 again.
Looked in the mirror and asked the old man looking back at me what the significance of that crap is. He didn’t answer, just smiled and shrugged his shoulders.
Reminded me of Snoopy fighting the Red Baron. That dog may curse the Baron and lose the occasional fight but never the whole battle or war.
At least not in his head, for whatever that is worth.
The music in the gym is a series of mixes or so the kid at the front tells me. One moment we’re listening to something that makes my ears bleed and then we hit a series of songs that I might call contemporary even if they aren’t anymore.
Every one in the set comes from college and a few have real memories tied into them. Some of the artists on the mix are around my age and some are older and I find myself thinking about those who are kids of around the mid to late sixties and wonder if the kids of the present think of my guys as being old.
Still haven’t taken care of the new themes/layout for the blogs but am thinking about it.
There is so much to do and so little time. Got new challenges and new things to focus on that take precedence. I keep thinking about making a list so I can check things off but never do.
That is something I save for work but in the personal life I just don’t like doing it. I go back and forth about whether it would make me more productive or not.
Three weeks from now I’ll have an eighteen year-old son.
That sounds young to some of you and old to others but to me it sounds incomprehensible. I can accept turning 50 next may but I can’t imagine how the boy who virtually looks me in the eye and whose voice is deep enough to be mistaken for a man is going to be that old.
I would ask dad if he remembers me at the verge of 18 and I suspect he would say not really.
My baby boy has to register for Selective Service.
I am ok with that, I did it and he’ll do it too but it is strange to think if they ever reintroduced the draft his name would be part of the pile.
Don’t misunderstand any of this to say I don’t have the utmost respect for our servicemen and women. They do something honorable and noble and I am grateful for their service.
But it obviously feels different when it is your kid on the line.
It is obviously important that our government do their best to avoid armed conflict as often as possible but again, it is something I have been thinking about with more frequency than I once did.
This aging/parenting thing is something else, isn’t it.