The 19 year-old that works the desk wants to know why I don’t have any gray hair and if I do anything special to train my calves.
I laugh and tell him I haven’t got any hair which is why he doesn’t see any gray and he says my beard is still mostly black.
“Genetics I guess.”
“What about your calves? Do you do lifts or something?”
“That’s genetics too. My dad had huge calves. I don’t do anything special beyond stand and walk, use the treadmill/elliptical.”
He says he is jealous and I say there is no need to be because we all have our strengths and weaknesses.
“You could be a half wit fascist who drinks covfefe.”
The kid next to him says it is easy to call people names and that people would call Reagan a racist.
“Maybe and maybe not. He was called the great communicator because he could speak intelligibly and he didn’t have the Central Park 5 on his record nor did he try to make love to Gorbachev.”
The kid says who and I tell him if he ever wants to talk politics he should read a few books and not rely upon talking points he doesn’t understand.
“I can argue my side and yours with equal authority, vigor and knowledge. No one is all good or all bad but the very weak try to protect themselves by convincing you the opposition doesn’t use legitimate criticism or play fairly.”
Preparing For What Must Come
An old Dire Straits song comes on and it takes me back to the summer of ’85 and I see a group of us walking through the Old City, climbing Masada and roaming the shuk.
We are princes and princesses but we don’t know it and even if we did we wouldn’t appreciate it.
It is not because of money because we come from different backgrounds and though some of us are truly flush most aren’t and it is ok because we are 16 and 17 years-old.
Thirty-four years later some of the faces I see are long gone and it is not because of age but because accident or illness has sent that bony herald to collect them.
I flash forward a decade and change and see us standing around D’s grave, waiting to take the shovels from the other guests so we can bury him, a final kindness.
It doesn’t occur to me that 20 years later we would do the same for my father and why should it, we were only 29 and dad was barely mid-fifties.
Today I view the world very differently and were neither of the aforementioned events to have taken place I would still see life in a different way than I did at 16 and 29.
It would be a sad statement if I said nothing had changed in those years and that there had been no growth at all.
But those things did happen and in addition to natural growth there is that which is forced upon us.
Things that I might have ignored or laughed at get an extra look. Blood in the toilet, extended coughing, blurry vision and or frequent urination get examined.
How much did I drink? Is it because of a hard piece of bread and crumbs or something else? Sweat in the eyes, food poisoning…
The elliptical is getting easier as are pull ups and a variety of other exercises.
It is noticeable to me and to a couple of others. Can’t decide if the clothes fit differently and even if they do I am not close to satisfied.
Won’t be long before I am airborne and I am starting to feel crazed about it. I used to love flying now I tolerate it.
Some flights are a breeze from start to finish and others are a grind.
The hardest parts for me are waiting to board/take off and the 938 hours it takes to deplane once we have landed.
I do best when I have my headphones on, music or movie playing and I can get lost. Sometimes I write, sometimes I sleep and sometimes I do both.
Dallas to LA is generally an easy flight, but this one feels heavy and I almost want to cancel so I can drive.
At times the ride is long and dull, but there are some beautiful moments and scenery.
Given how much time I have spent alone the car can often be soothing to me and I find myself thinking about dad and my grandfathers because they understood it.
It was something all four of us shared.