Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Lost a little off the old fastball.

    I looked in the mirror just a moment ago. It's funny because I saw an older man in a baseball cap. Not a bad looking dude for 60 plus years old but not exactly who I was expecting. That happens a lot lately. I still look out of these eyes with the same self I always have but the person looking back in the mirror doesn't have an unlined face or long light brown hair and the youthful gaze or even the silly "I'm gonna be young forever" grin that I remember so well.

 I was sitting outside now that the temperature in Alabama has decided to become bearable and the  sun isn't scorching my skin like Dracula at the beach. I pull out the old Kindle and start to read this old short story in a Stephen King collection. It's his first collection called "Night Shift" and the story is "Last Rung on the Ladder." You, unless you are a Stephen King nerd like me have most likely never heard of this one. No made for TV movies. It's not discussed as one of this best works. Mainly because it's not. No zombies or scary clowns or vampires or crazy writers possessed by evil ghosts from a haunted hotel. But, at the end of that little story I thought "Damn, he was good." Even back then he was good. I think my favorite writer has lost a little off his fast ball these days. He seems to strike out from time to time while agonizing over politics and a certain orange dumb ass in Washington. But, I have to admit that those of us who call him a dumb ass sure do give him a lot of free rent in our heads. Well, I personally don't but a lot of really liberal people lose their minds daily over Da Donald. Anyway, this isn't a political rant and so let me move on.

  I could run a mile in under five minutes in high school. Now, I know that's not track star fast but honestly? How many people can say they broke a five minute mile other than track stars. I was never a track star. But, I was young and healthy and loved that final kick towards a runners high. I couldn't run half a mile these days without the threat of cardiac arrest. 

  Well I'm running down the road trying to loosen my load...Glen Frey. 

I remember when Glen Frey sang that. He had to rake his hair out of his eyes and they looked a little smart alecky and he had that devil may care smile as the rest of the Eagles came on in harmony. Glen Frey from the band who wrote the soundtrack of my youth has passed on to that rock and roll heaven. How the heck did that happen? Just yesterday he was "Taking it Easy" and I was listening with a Pony Miller in one hand and the smell of wacky terbacky wafting through the air.

  I knew a girl who sang the blues. I asked her for some happy news...Miss American Pie.

  One thing about getting older though. You can finally say what you feel and not have to impress anybody or try to do the old mating dance of youth. I read where Oliva Newton John is 71 years old. My God  the last time I saw her she was looking at John Travolta in a certain movie with a come hither look on her young face. He was looking back with a "I'm on my way hither" look of his own. 

  I think I slept through the early 80's. Ether that or I got stoned and missed it. Now I have met a lot of people in my time. I've listened to preachers and I've listened to atheist and I've heard guru's explaining the mysteries of life. I don't do preachers or guru's and I am absolutely not an atheist. I have had enough experience to know that my being is more than my body. Although, there are times when I'm more sure than other times.

  I started this out with the mirror. I remember as a child looking in the mirror. I would think "who is that?" That's not me.. But, as the years passed I got used to "my face." Not pleased mind you but, used to it. 

  So maybe in some future time there will be a kid who looks in the mirror. Say around 20 or 30 or more years from now.That child will look in a mirror and think "That's not me." I don't know who that is but it's not me. But sooner or later the child will get used to it. Then before they know it it will become the "youth" from the past and he will miss it. Just a little. 

And dream of the soft look your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep....W.B. Yeats

  I really do wonder if what goes around comes around for real. I have no desire these days to smite my enemies. No "sweet revenge fantasies" I also have no real need to rush to forgive every bastard that ever hurt me either. I'm just at the stage where I live and let live and let God sort it out. It's not a bad place to be really. But, I'd love to run a five minute mile again. 

"When logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead and the white knight is talking backwards and the red queen's off with her head...Jefferson Airplane

Grace Slick who was lead vocalist on that song by the Jefferson Airplane is 80 years old. It's unreal to this eternally young Baby Boomer who grew up with rock and roll. Did we ever teach the world to sing? Oh well. I can get inside my own head sometimes.

In the words of a young Grace Slick who is now eighty years old. "Remember what the Dormouse said. Feed your head. Feed your head."