Happy Birthday to me! (Well, that was almost a month ago, and I’ve been procrastinating about writing this essay ever since.) |
That’s right, June 12 was the big day, and I ponder the miracle. Not the marvel that I’m still alive. I chalk that up to good genes, and a healthy and active lifestyle. I seem to be a pretty robust dude—so far anyway. No, I’m thinking of the miracle that I was even born—had a birthday. Think of it. Parents had to feel amorous at just the right time, and one of 100,000 to 400,000 eggs that contained future me had to be selected. Nine months later I saw a white light, someone smacked me on the fanny, and voila—life.
I also think of others who shared my birthday; those who have departed beyond the veil of mortal existence: Anna Ruth (Keck) Myers--grandmother, Dorothy Ellen (Miller) Myers--aunt, William Salesky—work associate, George H. W. Bush—number 41, and Anne Frank—Holocaust victim. I am not eager to join them, but (try as I might) cannot avoid the upcoming biological event that awaits me. See, when I think about it, it’s that final darkness (Sleep’s big brother) that I fear. Sleep isn’t darkness or totally black. One’s brain is active with things like dreams, and if demons come to call, your brain alerts you to fight and/or wake up. Even then the struggle becomes daunting if one is in a state a sleep paralysis. I know what the darkness is like from the times I was put under during surgery. You’re put out and wake up with no brain activity you can recall during the dark hours. What if the demons come then?
With that in mind, I celebrate each new awakening. I love mornings—can’t wait to get up. It’s hard to imagine that someday there will be a day that starts off without me especially the ones that are fresh and sunny with sounds of songbirds. Those I’ll miss most of all. I will not miss dry, insipid meatloaf, tuna casseroles, garbage odors, pessimists, television commercials, whiny, sore-loser politicians and their braindead sycophants, smarmy ESPN commentators, gum popping, going to an airport, terrible pop music, someone else’s farts, and projectile halitosis.
I began that temperate, sunny, June day with a look into the bathroom mirror to see if the “imposter” showed up. Yep, he was there. Teeth are still white, and hair is still dark, although it is definitely thinner. He also has the beginning of a turkey neck, and crepe-paper skin. He’s showing wear-and-tear for sure. My hearing is okay, but the problem is that it comes through his ears. I admit the imposter—lately I’ve been thinking of him as the enemy—resembles me, but I know he is not the young guy on the other side. Maybe I need to get a new mirror. I put on shorts, a tee, and shoes for my morning run, but before I went out the door, I snuck one last peak to see if the imposter was still there. DAMN!
“Go haunt somebody else!” I yelled. He winked back, and flipped me off. He is both annoying and implacable. He also has something I do not have; namely, all the time in the world.
Beautiful morning. Run felt good although I had to endure certain neighbors jeering at me to pick up the pace. I almost cringe at having to suffer their corny remarks. On the other hand, if they didn’t care about me, I’d be ignored, right? At least, as trite as they are, their (printable) comments are not as bad as those PGA golf galleries. There, as soon as one of the pros swings a club or putts, some inane duffass yells, “Get in the hole!” The first guy (from decades ago) I give a pass. The rest of you: Just shut up. You sound idiotic. It gives a country club and PGA tournaments that shabby, going nowhere ambiance like a crushed paper cup on a stained sidewalk outside a 7-eleven.
On the turn toward home, I got the sudden urge to relieve myself—another attribute the imposter has foisted upon me. Fortunately, the clubhouse for our community is on-the-way. I need to explain that (for me) it seems the Ladies and the Gents are located 180-degrees out-of-phase. So, being of single-minded purpose, I accidently barged into the wrong room not giving a thought to the absence of urinals, and rushed toward a commode, urgently preparing for the process as I moved. I thought of a line from “Blazing Saddles”: S’cuse me while I whip dis out.
Before I could begin the transaction, a lady walked through the door—she, one of those humorless old biddies with a condescending countenance who looks like she’s always smelling bad cheese. I guess she was dressed in resort chic, but to me it looked like a Versace knock-off for Walmart. She exclaimed, “Excuse me! This is for ladies!”
Naturally, I was embarrassed, but not being one of those who refrains from swinging at a lobbed pitch that had homerun written all over it, said: “So is this, but I have to run water through it every two hours.”
Then with as much dignity as I could muster, walked out the door giving a thumbs-up to her open-mouthed gape. Oh, and I made it to the Gents in the nick of time. The hydraulic pressure was so strong that I may have blasted some porcelain off from that sturdy, upright bathroom fixture.
The rest of the run was much more comfortable, and I fell under a hypnotic trance from the sound of my footfalls, and began singing to the beat. The song was “Twisted”.
“My analyst told me I was on out of my head My analyst told me I’d be better off dead (than live) I didn’t listen to his jive I knew all along that he was all wrong I knew that he thought I was crazy, but I’m not.” (Oh, no)
Well, maybe not the best choice, but it fit the rhythm of shoes on asphalt.
When I arrived home, I cooled off on the back patio drinking water and tackling a Sudoku word puzzle. Mainly, I awaited the arrival of daughter, son, and a chocolate lab from Southern California. They were coming to “surprise” me. Best gift of all.
Copyright by Gene Myers who henceforth pledges to be freeway close and habla espanol.
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