October 15, 2011

Growing Old

So you're 18 years old. Fresh out of high school. The world is your playground. The drinking! The SEX!  It's everywhere!! Well, for some more than others. In addition to this, you have hopes, ideals, and dreams of living an amazing fucking life.  ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!!!

Then all of a sudden, you're all through college and BAM! You're 23.  Blink twice? 27. That's right: if you haven't met the person that you (like to think you) will spend a significant amount of your future with by now, you're statistically more likely to remain alone FOR ALL OF ETERNITY. In addition to this dismal truth,  in only 3 more years, you'll be 30. And after that, it's allllll dowwwwn hilllll -  the spare tire gets heavier and the cue ball gets shinierAnd those are only the least visually depressing metaphors...

To Live Fast, Die Young, and (Love Hard?may be a very legitimate plan of action - especially for those in this world that spend way too much plan feeling sorry for themselves.  Especially in a world with a ridiculously aging demographic who have embarrassed themselves with exceptionally poor planning decisions for Senior's Housing and health care. What are these people going to expect from us kids in another 20 or 30 years? And worse yet: what hope do you and I have of living a comfortable life in another 40 or 50 years? The the way the world is? It's hard to be optimistic...

Growing old. I think I fear that more than I do dying. Especially if that dying is going to be a dreadful, deteriorating death of my overall general health.  Chronic pain, false teeth, hearing loss and glaucoma, osteoporosis and arthritis, ailments and oxygen tanks. And dementia if you're lucky.   

Add to this the likelihood of becoming neglected by your kin. Root causes of poverty are often a result of excessive reproduction, resulting in hardships for you & your children. So having more than 1 likely won't make any difference.  In a super-fast-paced world where everything & everyone is always on demand, you can BET YOUR LIFE that you will be put on the back-burner when it comes to things like getting help in picking up groceries, taking trips to the doctor's office, or even filling the (government-covered?) prescription necessary to make your life... liveable? Barely. And we all know how much disposable income senior citizens have don't we.

When it comes to aging and, well, dying, I like to think that we do have at least some degree of choice in our fate. I wonder if we can pre-arrange euthanasia somewhere, somehow, and stipulate the conditions of how & when it should go ahead with, while we remain in our sound mind...? Or if we're really f'd up and lack total perspective or hope, there's that ultimate tragic & selfish way of removing ourselves from the equation.  But I think a funner way to start the end of it might be by living that good ol' (often-sought-after-rarely-attained)  High! Risk! Lifestyle!  More drinkin', wild irresponsible sex, recreational drugs of every kind, smokin', eatin', partyin' ---> EVERYTHING UNHEALTHY!  Because even with the average human longevity breaking through to new heights, there still - and always will be - a huge difference between living and living well.

Growing old isn't always part of the good lord's plan for us. Sudden death. Tragedies. NEVER accidents. But life-ending disasters. The 87 year old man killed golfing by a lightning bolt with no clouds or rain over head?  The highjacked bus that went off the bridge killing 15 school-aged children? It's all just such a huge fucking gong show. But for noone more than the ones left behind. This is why I think that a chronic illness can be just as devastating as a terminal diagnosis. The sick one will have to fight so fucking hard to overcome the psychological barriers thanks to both sadistic statistics as well as stigmas only perpetuated by the media. The sick one must do this in addition to fighting the actual illness?!?!?! Did I mention something about the importance of "support" earlier? Brutal. Fighting death alone, I think, would be harrrrd.  Having the knowledge that your time on this earth is going to be limited to years, months, or even weeks? Indescribable. This is why I think a fast, unexpected departure from this world might be preferred. This is why I fear the prospect of growing old. This is why I think that the faster we can find contentment (and bliss?) in life, the better.  This is why I would just like to live life now. Before it's too late. I can feel the heat of the bus's headlights on my brow already.     
Some say that if you go through your life in this world counting on nobody then nobody will be there to let you down. Once again, this makes the idea of "growing old" so very depressing. The fact of the matter is that it's only human nature to want to meet someone that you can share your life with. Share your happiness with. Share your sicknesses with. Share your bed with.  And the likelihood of sharing a 20th, 30th, or 50th anniversary with a partner becomes smaller & smaller.  Sure, there's something to be said for self-sufficiency and personal goals/achievements - but conquering Mount Everest or sailing the Seychelles or riding shotgun though an African Safari with the one you love is a hell of a lot more fulfilling than doing these things alone. + When the lion pounces, who is going to be the one to watch your back and nail that beast? And when you're 67, who is going to be the one to steep your tea? Pick up the Polident?  Drive you to your radiation treatments? Let you win at Wheel of Fortune?

Right now I'm at the age that kids really start to think about Life Long Loving and taking the holy vow of matrimony (if not only for the taxation benefits).  I'm right at the age where couples really engage in getting engaged. The lovely ladies go crazy when they become committed to the idea of... getting committed (I think maybe before the cue ball starts to shine and the spare tire gets brought into play?) But dearly beloved, please answer me this:  As much as you & I avoid looking into each other's eyes, are you absolutely positive that you are with the person that you see yourself buying Depends for in 50, 40, or 30 years from now?! And more importantly, how far into our marriage do you see the sex stop getting wild and kinky? (I would like to think NEVER - despite the fact that the very idea of old people fucking sounds kinda gross.  Alright, I'm convinced. For you, I will live forever.

Here's to You, babe. Let's hope we find eachother before we fastforward through our lives and wake up one day sad, cynical, jaded... and old. or dead.