life at mid-punk
my father is 20 years older than me. he will be 68 this spring. i will be 48 in june. for someone in their 20s and 30s the number 48 sounds ancient. perhaps it is. there is no doubt about it i am middle-aged. all a matter of perspective. age is not just a number. it is everything you are. when you hit your late 40s your mind might be telling you that you are still 25 but your body will start to ache when you walk those five miles a day. your dogs will bark, your left knee will sometimes give out, and your lower back will tell you in a loud squelch, here i am, motherfucker
still, my old man reminds me that getting old is a privilege. previous generations did not have the luxury of growing old. just a century ago the average age of an average person was 42 or so. the average age today is the mid-70s. we are lucky to have the opportunity to grow old.
at any rate, i am happy to be a middle-aged poet, husband and father of a 10 year old son. yes, dig that, nick turns 10 this friday! i am also a gen-xer. now, i rarely think of generations as separate entities. i prefer individuals over groups. but i just read this wonderful piece about being a middle-aged gen-xer at the buddhist blog full contact enlightenment
and the writer asks what you -- i -- might think about being a gen-x oldster.
hell, i still want to found my street skate gang for old-skool skate punks called SKEEZERS: skating geezers [credit goes to anna who thought up the name]. i am navigating oldsterhood as best i can. i listen to NPR and CDs of old hardcore punk like black flag and d.o.a. at work. i am tattooed, ears pierced and grey-haired, like many of us. each year goes by faster than the previous year. i can't imagine life not being a father. i am in love and have been in love with the same woman for 22 years. oldsterdom suits me, i think, like a glove. i just pray that if i have a mid-life crisis it takes the form of a skateboard. it won't take the form of a convertible sports car and dyed hair and leisure suits.
there are poems to write, books to be read, movies and TV shows to watch, and family and friends to love. as long as i have those things i am happy growing old.