Friday, October 24, 2008

Pictures of everyman. Or: Forty and f*cked.



The shock to a man from about the age of forty...

The sudden realization that you've been kicked off the bus of normal life, and from here on it's going to be hitchhiking, and catch as you can, you can't go home again, the past seems one hell of a lot more attractive than the future and and you wish the hell you were eighteen again and knew what you knew then.

You, who had sampled life and enjoyed some if its pleasures--are going to die. It's not an abstract.

Well, well, well.
Hoo Dat Callin".

Well, there are palliatives.
You are still young enough, attractive enough, maybe even talented enough to still function in what's left of your profession. You can be a randy prof, the writer of good books; perhaps a financier.

And so you go off half- cocked (sometimes literally) on all those projects, madly off in all directions;but forty is the deadline decade; if you hadn't made it by now, and even if you had made it, now you're the fool who will have to start over again, and after those starts, again and again; fucking -up all over again, till you get to where the hell you are supposed to go. And that takes decades.

Queen: Death on two legs

But hold.

You might have no idea how good life and love will ultimately get-- that it is really going to get rosy at the end; but then you can't push time and right now at forty, it's you and in the situation.

So you go through the small gains in your professional life, pick up he glamorous girlfriend, who builds up your ego to monstrous proportions; the mystique of writer makes you attractive to women, they all want to be in you books--you strain your brains out through the eye of your pathetic little ding-a-ling and life for a while gives you this terrific bang.

But by 44 it seem more like a Roman candle.

Strange dreams as you lie next to your lover, with those dear little veins in the inside or her knees. She is young, beautiful and she knows you love her...but something is wrong!

Your former wife trying to get the driveway paved, stronger now for having Dumped the Hunk, but she is scared now, for should the Hunk return he may yet rub her nose into it.

You dumped me, what I at least,in my spoilage had perceived in my own head to be beautiful me, for that bespectlacled spectacle sitting in my living room patting my dog?

Sweetie, with all you women's lib magazine propaganda, you believed it all and now you're in the house blowing a little dope.

Ah small matter. In any other society we would be stoned as adulterers. We are white, crazy and forty-one.

It takes money to have a mid-life crisis, oodles and oodles of it. And you and the former wife both need it.
She makes out your income tax, signs your name to it, poackets your old paycheques and collects the rebate. You, as he dog-in-the manger son, go to your family. It takes money to be the partier, the raconteur, the rat with women, for there is the intimaion that it's really all downhill from here, and you might as well have a good time.
You also know that you can die of a mid-life crisis, and you might not be the only guy to spend $40,000 and end up having AIDS.

That you, bunky, in the syph ward, your poor pecker just about falling off? Well, that's what she wished for the last time she saw you.
You got the ball rolling and got trapped undeneath it. Lizzie Borden adultery. And the Bible was right, and the sins of the fathers.....

Friggin' rollercoaster.

And it doesn't stop until the threescore and ten.

And then, when you get to where you were supposed to go, when it's time for you yourself to go--you migh finally larn somethin'.

##

35 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

I felt some of that at 40. Much more at fifty when certain avenues are no longer available.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Charle,

Take heart.

It really does get better as you advance to what some may call old age. You get there!

Donnetta Lee said...

The old thought: If I knew then what I know now--comes to mind. You do "larn something." Sometimes the hard way. Usually the hard way. Such is life. D

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Donnetta,

I have the intimation that I knew then more that I know now. :)

Anonymous said...

Stood there boldly
Sweatin' in the sun
Felt like a million
Felt like number one
The height of summer
I'd never felt that strong
Like a rock............


And I stood arrow straight
Unencumbered by the weight
Of all these hustlers and
their schemes
I stood proud,I stood tall
High above it all
I still believed in my dreams

Twenty years now
Where'd they go
Twenty years
I don't know
I sit and wonder sometimes
Where they've gone...........

Like a rock,standin' arrow
straight
Like a rock,chargin' from the
gate
Like a rock,carryin' the weight
Like a rock

Like a rock,the sun upon my
skin
Like a rock,hard against the
wind
Like a rock,I see myself again
Like a rock..........

B.Seger


sort of says it all for most of us,I suspect...we are,all,rocks,in our own individual ways...may the landscape of our journey be graced with those moments of our strength and dignity...

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Woahh,

Gets me (us?) right where we live.

Bob Seeger has lived a lot.

And wrote a lot. And so well, out there in the firelight. When the moon was shining bright.

the walking man said...

At 18 you have the world by the balls

At 40 the world pays you back by grabbing your balls and twisting...hard.

by 50 the world lets go but the juice of life just doesn't flow with the same intensity or care.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Yeah.

NOthing like being in bed with someoby beatiful, and suddenly, unexpectedly, all you have is the desire.
Indeed, WTF.

Anonymous said...

hope you weren't holding them by the balls...

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Well, I heard them say, "For Crimminy's sake, don't jump."

Anonymous said...

so you did drop the soap...

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Oh-oh.

We're going to lose all our ladies.

Anonymous said...

where have all the flowers gone?....

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Yep.

Especially now.

Last I heard, Kinstong trio changed personnel again, and now thirty years later,they could be singing the same song.

Anonymous said...

just like our political system/govts..........

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Yep.

They used to joke at the Star that you can never underestimate the stupidity of the electorate.

We elect those clowns, though one, the Liberal guy really shoud have worn a red nose and a poka-dot jump suit.
This guy used to be a professor?

Not even absent-minded, but, I fear, feeble-minded.

At least we could see right through him.
Ah But Harper is sharper.

Still...

Anonymous said...

bear in mind that the guy who should have been wearing the clown's suit,as you say, got the major part of his education in Paris/France...the rest of that party are all,now, playing at being Mr. Dress-up...and we wonder why some countries go thru' massive uprisings and insurgencies?...order the bananas now...we'll soon need them...how'd you like the latest anti- crime initiative in T.O.?[aka Gotham in need of a batman ]...cameras for guns...waves of hundreds of black gang-bangers handed in their illegal guns for cameras [they can use them on fathers' day] ...at least that was the theory..."the theory of the little bang"...SNAFU is the operative word...we're lucky if there's one gonad to be found in total among all of our politicians...maybe we have,after all,locked up the wrong people...

Jo said...

Why does everyone go through life looking through the rear view mirror?

Old? at 40? 50?

"But it was long ago, and it was far away
Oh God, it seems so very far,
And if life is just a highway, then the soul is just a car
And objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are."


... Meatloaf

Anonymous said...

most people look back so they can look ahead...a glance in the rear-view mirror is ,at the same time,accompanied by looking down the road ahead...we examine where we've been,and plan/hope for where we'd like to be...old is simply a term for not being able to do the same "old things"...in many cases,we probably don't even wish to do those "same old things"...so now we are "old/older ' and we begin to do other things of which we are quite capable...we can't all keep climbing mountains forever,or shingling our roofs...memories of past victories and adventures never die,nor should they...it's all part of the human condition...as for Meatloaf,he couldn't see a damn thing from where he was,gettin' it on,by the dashboard lights...let's see if he's still humpin' in cars when he's "old"and can't get it up...

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

I think the painter Monet said the same things as Josie and Anonymous.
See where you've been, where are you now, where are you going.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Anonymous.

Toronto is disgusting.

The hoods did another Jane Creba last night.

Offed another young woman by accident as she stood outside a nithclub, waiting for a bus or something.
Is mayor Miller ever going to get it?
No cops in the streets. Just drivin' and donut dunkin'.

Anonymous said...

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ea monroe said...

I've been griping about this a lot to Donnetta lately!

It takes money to have a mid-life crisis, oodles and oodles of it. --

Have you ever noticed how all those guys driving the hot roadster convertibles all have gray hair!

~Liz

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Liz,

Yep. He's $uperduper Man, gray hair and pot belly, $$$ emblazoned on his chest and looking for a phone booth.

Anonymous said...

reminds me of the snail who didn't want be called/identified as a snail,bought a beautiful red Ferrari to boost his self-esteem,and then put a big "S" on the trunk lid so he could always find the car...he took the car out one nite to cruise the strip,and cranked it to impress the crowd...all you could hear was "holy shit,did you see that S car go!".........


baggage,baggage,baggage...can't ever leave it...ya gots to deal with it...

I don't have to worry about my grey hair 'cause it's safely hidden under my motor-cycle helmet...now,the mid-life crisis is another story...

Anonymous said...

and by the way,have you ever tried finding a phone booth in time of need?...no wonder our streets are going to hell...

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

A story is told about the snail and a turtle getting into an accident, a colliision.

Interviwed the snail said, "I dunno.
It all happened so fast."

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Anon,

Yep. Randall the Vandal.

Makes it tough for us people who don't want to look stupid, walking and talking to ourselves.

Anonymous said...

hey...that was no turtle...that was me...

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

uh,

Splitting Hares

Midnight said...

Is a rabid response in order?

Midnight said...

BTW, has your recent stoppage, become unplugged?

Not that I wish to involve myself, with your recent difficulties, butt there is nothing truer, than reality.

ivan@creaivewriting.ca said...

Yeah. Br'er Rabbit over here.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Yep. I'm with old Rabelais.

Life is a battle between the shitters and retentives.

I had been an unwilling (and scared) retentive plugged up for 14 days. Went to see the doc, who agreed I was really full of it.
Said if they can't find the blockage, I would have to go through a CatScan, a machine highly radioactive, but able to scan yoour body a millimetre at a time to examine your every organ and find out what the hell is wrong with you-- cancer maybe-- and where the blockage is.

Scared me. It the cancer crowd that gets the newfagled CatScan.

So, anima-haunted (According to Jung) I became enema-haunted and got this big can of flush, ate a bag of bran and wow, a tsunami.

TMI, I guess.

Oh well. People have called me a perfect a**hole, but now it's really perfect. It all worked out.

Scared hell out of me,

Somehing out of Shakespeare,

The quality of mercy is not strained. (At least any more). It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven.

Actually, had a dump from hell.
And thank the debbil it worked.
We have built cancer into an industry and I sure as hell didn't want to work in those vinyards.

As in legal language to do with divorce, I had relief, both de facto and corrolary.
BAh.

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