He Was Only
One concept I never bought into is the notion that someone in their fifties and sixties is young. It would amuse and bemuse me when I’d hear my mother and father comment on someone who had died, saying he was only fifty-six. As a seventeen-year-old, I be like – what the fuck, only 56! I’d be assured that the person was young, but it was merely a defense mechanism that oldies used to make themselves feel a little more secure and a lot less terrified about their approaching death. Each day we age, the quicker death’s approach. I didn’t set out to blog about this, so it shows you I have not moved on from my period of blogging about the temporary nature of life. Maybe I’m writing about this because of a conversation I had with one of my closest friends about age, today. I refuse to be an ostrich.
I’ve come to like being old. I don’t think I’d like to be in my thirties again. I’m thinking of my ‘old’ geography teacher who used to regale his class of teenagers with stories of him growing up in Kerry. His name was Milo – nickname – and I’m sure he’s long dead, but one day he was asked if given the chance he would live his life, including the wonderful days of youth that he constantly waxed lyrically about, again. I was shocked when he said … No.
Forty years later, I know how he feels. Once is enough, really.
Let’s go ‘round again, say Average White Band.
Fuck off Average White Band, say Michael.
That said, I’ve been listening to Sting singing about a brand-new day. I am on the brink of a new beginning, a new chapter, a new life living on the edge of Dublin city, a mere fourteen-minute walk – for me, a twenty-minute stroll, perhaps – to Stephen’s Green. I’m not moving with the energy of my teens. I’m going to move slowly, pensively, savouring each precious moment. I be like the old bull in the joke – there’s loads of cows down there, the young bull points out, let’s go down and shag one, to which the old bull – me – says, no, let’s walk down and shag them all.
I wanted to write something completely different. That’s one of the things I love about blogging – I never know what’s going to pop out of my mind and onto the page.
In the last twelve months, I spent five weeks living/sleeping in my Honda, but for some reason, right now as the living in the car thing draws to a close, it feels like I’ve been doing it every day/night for the last five years.
I haven’t. Far from it, but here’s the thing … on Friday I expect to be moving into my new home on the nice end of the South Circular Road. The S.C.R. I’m excited about what this move will bring to my life, psychologically, physically, emotionally, every which ally.