Midnight arrives and as usual I am the sole non four legged adult wandering through the house, a natural night owl.
Got a handful of additional birthday greetings and a few more people asking if I really am 50, but none are as gratifying as the guy on the treadmill next to me who accuses me of lying.
I don’t normally speak to the people around me at the gym not because I am an unfriendly cranky old man but because when I am on task I don’t like being disturbed.
It makes it easier to stay focused and get things done in a timely fashion. Had the gym been open at midnight I would have headed over last night, birthday or not.
Especially given my usual solitary state it would have been a good use of my time, instead I did my walk through the house and asked the dog to come dance with me.
Midway through the work day I wander through a hotel at the far end of town listening to the music in the hall, playing around with working it into a post but deciding to refrain unless it goes into a more private place for I am not in the mood to be naked.
The thought is interrupted by a man asking me if I can help him move some boxes so he can show me something. The boxes contain toilet and urinal parts and I silently snicker thinking about how if life were a movie the song and the the boxes would be part of some bad romcom.
Later on at the gym I’ll take a hard look at my reflection and wonder when I got to look so damn old.
I like the way my arms, back, chest and shoulders look in this shirt and that helps me feel like I am making progress, like I am making changes. I see muscles growing in size and definition and I wonder what I am capable of doing at 50.
If I really bear down and focus on my diet can I change things in a profound way and if so, what benefits will I derive from it. Will it be significant and meaningful?
Will it provide a better quality of life or will it just be the kind of thing that feeds an ego?’ That is of less interest because I don’t know how much time I have.
I have my suspicions and ideas but we never know with the kind of certainty we want. Two days prior to my birthday during a conversation with a friend about someone who committed suicide we talked about what we would do if we knew when the finish line was approaching.
“Josh, what would you do if you were certain death wasn’t that far away?”
“I have my ideas but I don’t know if I would tell anyone.”
“Why not? What if they had things to say to you?”
“I don’t know if I want to be treated differently. I know from experience it is crucial to let the people who are important know what you think.”
I wrote a post on Facebook thanking people for the birthday greetings and in return I got more geetings.
That caused some angst because I wondered if people misunderstood my post and thought I was asking for attention. It is an embarrassing thought. I don’t need attention so desperately I would look for it that way.
My unease is exacerbated by something else–I am a writer.
If that post is/was so poorly written that people misundersto0d it I am going to beat myself with the closest pillow or fist. Let’s hope I don’t conclude I am at fault or that if I do take the blame I do so while lying in bed.