|Older guy still dreaming he's playing Woodstock blah blah blah.. :)|
I read an article in The Guardian recently that said that we are officially "old" at 60. So I suppose I must be old then if they say so. Problem is, I don't feel old. Far from it.
I've never felt better in my life! My professional life is as enriching as anyone could wish for, I am lucky enough to know some wonderful people I love dearly and who appreciate me too, I'm happier than I've ever been, I'm more confident than I've ever felt, I'm in good physical shape for my age and, despite all my mess-ups and mistakes over the long long years, I don't think I've turned out to be any worse than the next person. And god knows I could - or even should - have been a total fucking loser.
Truth be told, and without going into too much detail, I should have been dead years ago. My childhood was cut short at the age of thirteen by the death of both my parents, and I was pretty much left to fend for myself, which means that I had all the characteristics and credentials it took to be a criminal. No parents, a shattered family (it took me years to find my two sisters again as we had all been scattered to the winds), and an errant lifestyle. Rapists, pedophiles, murderers and all sorts of other sundry villains and criminals use their ruined childhood as a mitigating circumstance before their judges, but I somehow - and thankfully - managed to avoid that fate (although I did spend one night in prison for picking a fight with a pub owner in Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire on my 26th birthday. I was fined the equivalent of €60 the next morning and I thoroughly deserved it. It taught me a valuable lesson).
Drugs and alcohol? Oh, let's not talk about that but say we did okay? Lots of people I knew then are not here today because of their excessive intake of drugs and I'll not add to that. Suffice it to say that the drug and alcohol abuse that characterised my life until my forties should have killed me off, just as it did many people at that time. I can't even begin to remember how many times I woke up fully-dressed in the morning on the floor of my home with a massive hangover or acid, or opium comedown or whatever and asked myself 'how the fuck did I get home?' only to drag myself to the window to see my car, very badly parked, outside. How the hell I didn't kill myself, or, worse, kill other road users, is still, and shall forever, remain a mystery.
Then there are all the people I knew who died prematurely because of illness or accidents, those who died in car and motorcycle accidents, and even some children, who died for reasons ranging from contracted disease to unsuspected heart anomalies.The latter killed a girlfriend of mine in fact. We were both nineteen and were just picking up our coats on our way out of a discotheque when she dropped down dead on the stairs in just one second. It turned out that she had been born with a time-bomb heart condition that meant that she was condemned to die young.
When I was younger I used to think that people of sixty years of age were finished. They were old. They had nothing more to say or contribute to the 'modern' world which I thought belonged to me and me only. In a word, they were irrelevant has-beens to be put out to pasture. I thought I knew it all.
But now that I'm 60, I know that I still know nothing much. I learn new things every day. World events such as war and the cruel things people do to each other still shock and sadden me, and I have not, thankfully, become become blasé and cynical about the realities of life.
I still love people, I still love life, I still love living on this humble little planet, and I still feel that life has so much to offer me.
In other words - and truth be told - this, my sixtieth birthday, is the best birthday I have ever had. I shall enjoy every moment of it, and I can only be grateful for having been born and still being alive. The future? Oh, I'm old enough now to know that Tomorrow Never Knows.
Anyway, enough of all my ruminations and blatherings, so have a good day all.