I swear, the universe is well aware of the fact I’m turning forty-nine years old in a week. Anything and everything which could creak, pop, or break is attempting to do so as though some kind of imaginary warranty is on the verge of termination. If this is the midway point of life, then I’m not looking forward to the second half. This is the point where some would insist on leaving the game early to miss the traffic, but I’m a huge fan of those final seconds. That’s when you see the players at their most desperate.
I was walking up the stairs on Sunday morning to take a few empty Amazon boxes to the dumpster. I would say ‘recycling bin’, but Dallas isn’t that cool. Our recycling bins are full of shitty diapers and anything my fellow condo dwellers couldn’t fit in the dumpster. Regardless of their destination, I picked them up and turned to send them on their journey. My body halted me mid spin.
A pain I can only imagine resembling that of a blazing hot sword penetrated my lower back and down I went. The boxes scattered in all directions. I was temporarily paralyzed on my new makeshift resting spot aka the top of my stairs with no assistance within earshot. This would’ve been a good time to try out that ‘I’ve fallen and I can’t get up’ app on my smart watch. If only I’d been wearing it…
Using my upper arm strength on the banisters, I managed to get back on my feet and downstairs. I plopped down on the nearest couch to analyze what had just occurred. I was totally puzzled.
The total weight of those boxes couldn’t have been any more than five pounds, yet they defeated me like an elderly man. Also, did I mention they were totally empty? Yes, I’m quite aware that ‘Jeff Bezos’ air may be a little too rich for my wallet, but I didn’t imagine it to be heavier than ‘poor people air’. Also, I’m sure I could call it many more things other than ‘poor people air’, but that’s what I am, and this is my story. Name your own air.
Is the rest of my life supposed to be nothing but regular doctor visits and blue pills to help get my weenie hard? This is definitely why older people don’t cry much at funerals. I think they’re privately looking forward to the inevitable dirt nap. Why not? According to legends, myths, and religions, we all get to hang out with our friends and family members who went on into the great unknown before us. Doesn’t that sound like fun? Not to me. Not at all.
I still have so many things to do in this lifetime even though I’ve already accomplished so much. Need a reminder?
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I haven’t sat through a feature film yet to see my name in the credits. That was the whole reason I got involved in this writer’s game to begin with. I wanted to write a film, premiere in my hometown, see my name in the credits, and turn to flash the crowd. Completely nude beneath a trench coat is the preferred method.
It’s never been about fame or money to be honest. It’s all about showing younger people from my birthplace that you don’t need to live on a certain street or have a certain last name to make something of yourself. Granted, none of my old classmates were rich by Manhattan standards, but I didn’t know that at the time, and my school days were filled with bullying for the sake of some imaginary class war. It’s not something I ever spoke about while growing up because I thought that’s just how things worked. The rich kids succeeded, and the poor kids just looked for bathrooms to smoke cigarettes in without getting caught, right? Breakfast Club, rules. The last thirty years of my life have shown me otherwise.
My best life advice: if you happen to be from a small town where everyone knows everyone else, leave it as soon as possible. Travel, experience diverse cultures and beliefs, and open your mind beyond your family’s programming. If you can’t afford it on your own, join the military or start a career that allows travel to do it on someone else’s dime. You’ll see soon enough that everything you’ve come to know is an illusion. You’ll also notice that your old friends and family won’t be too keen in regard to what you learned while you were away. Solution? Keep going, learn often, and begin your own branch of a new and improved family. It’s the only way our generations change. Someone must have the balls to surpass their upbringing.
I hope my body doesn’t continue to break down during part two of my ongoing journey. I have miles to go before I sleep and many hard lessons to learn. Hopefully I’ll be able to pass those along to my grandchildren with little fuss, but I’m sure several of my wisdom nuggets will accompany me to my grave. With luck, the air in my coffin will rival that of Jeff Bezos, because you can’t take it with you when you go. Why would we want to?