If you're over 25 and you want to make yourself feel as old as a mossy tomb, take a bunch of friends out to a downtown club on the weekend. Not just any club. Make sure you're going somewhere with lots of attractive people who wear really nice clothes and who do it every weekend.
You will feel wrinkles forming around your eyes and your prostate shriveling and growing cancerous.
It happened Saturday night, and it shouldn't have been a surprise. I've felt like this many times in the last two or three years, compounding the aging I've been feeling since leaving college.
It happened when I saw Garbage in concert and felt like the only people in the building older than me were the ones on stage.
It happened when I found out my brother listens to far hipper, more current music than me. And when I had to borrow CDs from him because I wasn't cool enough to own the latest Foo Fighters album.
Of course, I've always been a bit of a doofus. I'll never forget in college when I was a freshman at a campus newspaper party and I was trying to impress these two older, far hipper guys during a conversation about music. They were raving about "Beck" and I didn't know who the Hell they were talking about.
"Jeff Beck?" I asked, sheepishly.
So somewhere between being too young to be hip and knowledgable and now, I completely missed the curve. Now I'm too old to be truly hip (and I have the gray hairs, hairline and steady day job to prove it), and I'm wondering when in those six years was I hip?
I think it was probably for about two months in early 1996. I was totally hip. I was exactly the right target demographic. I wore nice clothes. I wasn't overweight. I had lots of hair, most of it combed. I knew who Portishead was. I'd been to Europe.
But now... (long, devastated sigh)... I'm just old.
I turn 26 next week. I'm leaving the land of the ambitious, driven, early 20s and entering the Settling Years. Too late to start a new career (unless my hands should get cut off for some reason). Too late to marry too young. Too late to honestly believe that Limp Bizkit is any good.
It happened on Saturday. My sister Jessica (who is not really my sister, but my best friend that I grew up with, but for all intents and purposes... my sis.) is having a birthday this week, too. It think that's why we get along so well. We're prototypical Aries.
Part of her birthday was having a nice dinner and then going out to Polly Esther's in San Antonio, a dance club which actually attracts lots of young, good-looking people. We've gone many times before, but we've never been winded from dancing so quickly. (By 2 a.m., we were crashed on the couches watching the subtitles from the Ghostbusters DVD that was playing.) I've noticed how I'm was probably in the top fourth of the people there in terms of age. I've never before felt so far apart from a scene I've never embraced, but always secretly thought I could incorporate into my life if I wanted to.
I think a lot about aging. I always have. I think that's common for people who write a lot or who are forced to contemplate themselves. You take stock nearly every time you start to write about your life. You think about where you've been and where you're going.
I've always set timetables for myself. Write a novel by this age. Get published by that age. Finish college by 22. Get married by 25 (that one didn't work out so well). And sometimes I see my priorities replaced and my goals for time slipping through wet fingers.
Time is always so short. I never have the time to do all I want to do. I never even have enought time to do all the things I have to do. So many books and movies to enjoy. So many stories to write. So many funny things to say on this site that I'll never remember to post. So many people to meet and spend time with and meals to eat and cities to see. So much work to do.
So much love to gain and then lose.
And it's been 26 years, but it feels so much shorter than that. So many places and people I want back, who are gone or changed or demolished or too far away, geographically or emotionally.
I don't think it's been 26 years, and I don't think it's right.
A desire to will myself younger courses through me. And maybe it's just vanity. Maybe I know that I don't really want to go back. That I'm older and wouldn't make the same choices to bring myself here.
But things don't always feel as nice as they once did. Things are never as easy. And, hardest of all, the bits and the moments that make up my life don't always feel as beautiful as they once did. And I know that isn't nostalgia. I think that part is real.
If we create our own realites, our own perceptions of where we are and where we're going, have I spent 26 years building a vision that deterioriates the older I get?
26 years. And a lot more ahead.
I don't know if I'm ready for it.
I think I'm too caught up in what's been.
Cosa's Hunger Strike to End Third-World Debt
DAYS 5 and 6
Cosa is entering what runners call "The Zone."
She refuses to come nearly me unless it's to claw at my legs or hiss.
She has started to scratch my doors and has been hanging around the window, trying to take swipes at bugs passing by outside.
Cosa completely refuses to give up. If she could talk, I'm sure she'd thank everybody for their support.
Third Watch recap is up this week. It's actually the worst episode I've seen, but the recap turned out to be funny, I think. Read it, if you dare. It's the one at the very top.
The Brooke Debate continues.
I've actually gotten so many interesting e-mails about this that it's gone from a simple horny reaction to a news announcement to a full on philosophical debate about Playboy, porn (which I don't classify Playboy as, but that's a whole other debate) and on Brooke's, um, attributes.
Look, I never said she was going to cure cancer or knows how to play the violin. She's just cute is all.
And anybody who doesn't think that there are great women out there who aren't Brooke, well... .Even I'm not dumb enough to think that being host of Wild On... and looking nice in a bathing suit is everything. I mean, she can't wear her bathing suit everywhere, can she?
(Thinking very hard) Hmmm... maybe she can... wouldn't that be great?
No, never mind. She probably has to wear pants once in a while.
So, yes, even Brooke isnt' perfect.
But read for yourself. Here's what some astute Terribly Happy readers had to say about the raging, rampaging, Earth-shatting Brooke Burke Purchase Debate. (Soon to be a major motion picture starring Tia Carrerre as Brooke Burke.)
Letters about Brooke: Terribly Happy lets you, the readers, speak!
"Yes, I am pissed about Gladiator. Thanks for asking."