Circling the Sun Again and Again

If you were to ask a 14-year-old me what I'd be doing in 10 years, I'd naturally presume to be long dead by such a date. Frankly, this wouldn't be a wholly unreasonable prediction at the time.

If you were to ask a 24-year-old-me what I'd be doing in 10 years, I'd naturally presume to be dead by then as well. Which would again be a reasonable prediction at that moment, but for mostly different reasons than before.

I suspect a 34-year-old me reasonably expected to be dead within these last 10 years too, but for different reasons still. And yet, here I am.

If you were to ask me right this very moment what I expect to be doing 10 years from now, I'd have to admit I kind of expect to be dead by then, but for much less romantic or exciting reasons. However, if experience has taught me anything, it's that you can't bank on dying young, or even youngish.

Look around and you'll see us old people are everywhere. We're practically jumping out of the woodwork at you! It's a surprising turn of events for many of us. Youth seldom expects to live long, but it usually does—fair warning, beautiful child. Sooner or later a fella has to start planning for the distinct possibility that he'll be stuck on this mortal coil for quite some time to come.

All this going on living day after day starts to wear a person out—literally. Hair turns gray, thins, and balds. Reflexes slow and response time expands into curious eternities. Eyesight grows dull and the fine print begins to blur and dance about. Teeth discolor and wear down from use. Little aches and pains gain interest which accrues into ever greater aches and pains. Porcelain skin grows slack and patchy as various nubs and splotches colonize it. Bone becomes brittle, while muscle turns soft and doughy. Various tenured internal organs take to doing a half-assed job and even skipping lectures outright. Fat makes pilgrimage to the waistline to worship at the bellybutton's shrine. Along the way this fanatical lipid cult clouds the circulatory system and clogs the heart in hopes of bringing on the Apocalypse. The Human Condition is a generally rotten and rotting state of affairs, and we're all stuck with it at the best of times.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I want ice cream. I'm not going to have any ice cream though, because I had ice cream yesterday. Eventually you have to start actively taking care of yourself, because you're stuck with this ever decaying self of yours for however long this life thing decides to go on. The entire arrangement is bollocks.