May 31, 2011 at 12:05 pm (Sweet sticky things, Waxing Nostalgic)

“I was born at night, but not last night.” –Judge Mills Lane (“Let’s get it on!”)

Last night about 9:30 PM I turned fifty years old. It’s a good thing.

Early upbringing had me believing I’d never see age twenty, let alone become officially middle-aged. Playing catch-up in the fun-missed-out department turned into near-suicidal alcohol and drug behaviors, and twenty years of killing myself to live took me to the edge. So it is with a certain amount of pride that I embrace the fact that I am a 50-year-old granddad.

This birthday was a milestone. I feel like I’ve accomplished more than was ever expected, which wasn’t much. (Pray to Jehovah, ascend, or burn for whacking off too much.) I’ve had more fun than a lot of rock stars, been in a few too-special-for-words relationships, and seen things too weird to be imagined. I embrace night culture, and it has treated me kindly. As Dirty Harry once said, “You meet a better class of people in the dark.”

It seemed appropriate that I spend the day with my peeps. At work, I pulled out the netbook and conversed with friends and relatives. A customer whose birthday was the previous day brought me a Teletubby Beanie Baby and gave me a soft, squishy hug. Yum…

Tilly the Hon was day shift, and she mentioned that Dr T was holding court at the hipster biker bar around the corner. “I’m going out for a cigarette break.”

“Oh. Okay…” She knows I don’t smoke.

I found Dr T in his usual spot, bets placed, Jameson and Camel straights representing. “What are you doing here?” he asked.

“I’m taking a cigarette break.” He offered me a Camel. “Nah, I’m not smoking anything. I’m just taking a cigarette break.”

We chatted about store drama. Whitney had to be medically retired, so there was an air of sadness. I spent half an hour, time for two ciggys. (After six years, my ‘cigarette time’ ought to add up to a couple weeks.) We joked, made plans for the upcoming parade night. I’ll be working on a Saturday night until the wee hours. I only agreed because it’d be with Dr T. I checked my watch: “4:20. I’ve got somewhere to be.”

I stumbled out of the bar into the daylight. Regulars eyes widened. Denial would make it look worse, so I owned my clumsiness. Tilly gave me the eye, but didn’t say anything. I breathed all over her as I squeezed behind the counter. She relaxed.

Thanks to social media, I was in contact with many friends and relatives over the course of the night. Alx walked me to the bus. My friend from Portland Police Bureau was riding. The Speed-Reader was my holiday bus driver. I arrived home to a departing sister, who along with Bro-in-Law provided my birthday ‘cake’, a caramel-apple pie. My late-night entertainment was a DVD all about Bill Hicks. How had I not been aware of him before now? I know the source of that cool drugs/music quote at the end of Tool’s Aenima, an album dedicated to him. Daddy always said it’s a poor day if you don’t learn something.

Mom hated this sign...

So, now that I’m fifty, I have to grow up, right? Fuck that! If it works, I’m using it. I’ve still got plenty of time to be old. When people talk of nuclear meltdown, 9.0 earthquakes and chlorine explosions? Meh. I’ve been living a bonus life for twenty years, and if it ended tomorrow I’d be comfortable knowing I had a good run, and more fun than most people would think attainable.

There’s a certain liberation in knowing that if the world ended tomorrow, I’d have gotten my licks in.



  1. JackLord-;p said,

    Hawaii Happy Five-O!
    Sent from my Ma Bell Rotary Phone.
    Pennsylvania 6-5000

  2. Dawn Ho said,

    A low ha!

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