Monday, April 16, 2007

Justified and Ancient

How graceful your movements
How bitter your scorn
I've been a teenager since before you were born.

There's a rare funny email forward I got recently, adapted from Dave Barry's "25 Things I Have Learned in 50 Years". One of them is, "There comes a time when you should stop expecting people to make a big deal about your birthday. That time is age 11." Truer words were never spoken.

But I implore you to care, because today, which is also Emancipation Day and the Day of Cosmic Comedy, I turned thirty-one years old. Thirty-one! I am no longer 30, I am now in my 30's. I am well over 600 in gay years.

I have been obsessed with the Real Age test for a while, checking in with it frequently, because I am clearly trying to see how HIGH I can get my "real age". As we were in route to some godforsaken place to ride the race cars and dance on fire on Saturday night, the cab passed a huge sign that read HEALTH IS WEALTH.

S.D. pointed this out, and I said, "It's very true. If you have your health, you have everything." So the reason I am empoverished is because I smoke a pack a day, drink heavily, don't wear my seatbelt, eat whatever the fuck I want and throw back a doll or two every now and then. On the one hand, I firmly believe that the better care you take of yourself, the better your life will be as you age. On the other hand, I firmly believe that life is a banquet and there are fools starving. In the immortal words of one Ms. Lindsay Lohan, "I just wanna dance and have a good time." As I galavanted around and mingled with the boys, I could only lament the fact that I was born to blossom, but bloomed to perish. I ain't a spring chicken. I can't get down like I used to but lord knows I try. I have a hundred years of experience for every line in my face, every hack in my lungs, every ache in my shoulders and neck, for every hideous scar and blemish, and every old man habit I've developed. The choice was mine and mine completely. I don't regret a thing but I regret it all.

As a gay man I am well of my obsession with youth, and I know how wrong that is. And as mentally ill person, I am well aware of my obsession with death and dying. Most people think of their birthdays as their personal holiday, but I think of birthdays as reminders of mortality. I'm consumed with these thoughts.

All of this is wholly insignificant in light of everything going on in the world, not the least of which is the Virginia Tech shootings. I whine about getting old; meanwhile, a real tragedy is unfolding and my heart breaks for those involved.


K. said...

Happy birthday! Hope you have a fantabulous year ahead with many more to follow.

Christine said...

Happy Birthday. In my experience, although, yes, you are much closer to death after age 30, life starts getting infinitely better. I hope you buy yourself something nice.

bitchphd said...

Happy very belated birthday.

And knock it off already. I'm eight years older than you, and I haven't been kicked out of bed yet.