Another milestone

White line fever, a sickness born
Down deep within my soul
White line fever, the years keep flyin’ by
Like the highline poles

The wrinkles in my forehead
Show the miles I’ve put behind me
They continue to remind how fast I’m growin’ old
Guess I’ll die with this fever in my soul  –Merle Haggard

Today marks the anniversary of the commencement of my first journey around the sun of which I have now completed 59 circuits.  Man am I tired!

I’ve gotten older but I can’t say I’m all that much wiser.  No great insights as I enter the last year of my fifties.  Truth is, I’m feeling a little melancholy.  It’s not just that with each passing year mortality looms ever larger, it’s more that what once were limitless possibilities and opportunities have been reduced to an uncomfortable understanding that this is what I’ve become and it is all that I will ever be.  It has been said that a dreamer lives forever, but I’ll be damned if I can think of a dream that fits me now.  Well, other than dreaming of my lost youth which is a fool’s game for sure.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not feeling sorry for myself.  Life has bestowed upon me many blessings, including a wife who loves me against all reason.  I have healthy children and grandchildren.  I’m living comfortably on a generous pension (thanks Uncle Sam!).  And despite living a decidedly unhealthy lifestyle I’m in generally good health.  Well, the aches and pains that come with age are a constant companion these days, but I’m still climbing the stairs up to the bars on dart nights (and stumbling back down).  I see folks all around me who can’t do the things I still do and enjoy, so yeah, I’ve been lucky.  And if that’s all there is, by god, I’m gonna keep on doing it for as long as I can.

Perhaps what makes me feel my age the most is that I’m pretty much the oldest guy I know.  Meaning almost all the people I spend time with are young enough to be my kids.  Or younger.  Of course, in my mind (especially after a few beers) I still think I’m thirty.  I fear that when I act that way I must be perceived as the stereotypical “creepy old guy” hanging out with the young crowd.  But what are you gonna do?  I’ve never wanted to live a vanilla life and I’m not about to go “gentle into that dark goodnight“.

I wonder just what makes a man keep pushing on
What makes me keep on hummin’ this old highway song
I’ve been from coast to coast a hundred times before
I ain’t found one single place where I ain’t been before

White line fever, a sickness born
Down deep within my soul
White line fever, the years keep flyin’ by
Like the highline poles

Anyway, happy birthday to me.  I have no idea where the road of life will take me next, but I sure as hell ain’t looking for an exit!

Jee Yeun asked me what I wanted for my birthday.  I didn't have the heart to tell her "to be 30".

Jee Yeun asked me what I wanted for my birthday. I didn’t have the heart to tell her “to be 30”.

I always preferred Graham Parsons and the Flying Burrito Brothers version of the song:

 

 

5 thoughts on “Another milestone

  1. Pingback: Killing the Walrus* | Long Time Gone

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