I often wonder how many people my age think about their mortality as much as I do. I’m probably average in this regard but, like a lot of things in life, feel alone in this indulgence. Obviously my cosmetic metamorphosis is a major contributor to such persistent contemplation of the aging process, not to mention its assault upon my vanity. To wit: the entire hair thing (receding, graying, and balding); more pronounced facial lines (especially the mini-ones around the eyes and the ‘gorges’ that angle down from the sides of the nose to the corners of the mouth); unlikely hair growth (singular and coarse strands along the outside edges of my ears); age spots (along the torso and ‘nether’ regions of my body); fingernails (thin, almost imperceptible, ridges that have formed there); the pronounced imprint of socks around my ankles (skinny though they may be); and last, but certainly not least, the belly protrusion (in my case, relatively minor but distressing nonetheless). Then there are the ‘subterranean’ manifestations of advancing age, those anatomical reminders which may or may not be accompanied by a physical sensation: increasing blood pressure (which, in my case, may be categorized as “pre-hypertensive”); occasional (left only) foot pain (plantar fasciitis); left groin (slightly strained and ongoing); cataracts; thickened left ventricle wall (which, given the function of this part of the heart, would seem like a good thing but, according to my physician, is not); a less than one centimeter nodule on my left lung (not uncommon but worthy of tracking, according to my doctor); lower back pain/stiffness (which, I think, could be alleviated with regular stretching exercises); loose teeth (to which is attached my upper-front bridgework); and general, undiagnosed bouts of moderately painful, albeit fleeting, sensations that shoot through my feet, legs, and arms at various and (seemingly totally arbitrary) times.
Given the fact that I’ve always been a generally active and healthy human being, to encounter any sort of health anomaly takes on more significance than someone who has had more experience with less than pristine health. Add the fact that I’m 60 years old and one would tend to think, hey, what’s your bitch? Honestly speaking, I have none. But that doesn’t stop me from doing so. Or being conscious of my body’s concession to age. Sure, I knew it would come eventually. Everyone knows it will happen – eventually.
But, like probably everybody else who lives long enough to reach the short side of middle age, I’m not quite ready for eventually to be now.