"Fools' names and fools' faces, often seen in public places," was what my grandmother used to say if it seemed that somebody was calling too much attention to themselves. She had a great ability to cut vainglory to the quick, did old Grannie.
But, I thought, what the hell. I'd not only run a picture, but I'd offer some thoughts about being in my 'prime' and just what that might mean. As for the picture, it was taken on a beautiful day last July. Why not? I like seeing pictures of my blogger pals, so I thought it was my turn. As for the 'being in my prime thing', I offer as follows a chapter excerpt from the manuscript of my (I hope, one of these days) pending book that concerns a guide to life for middle-aged men. I hope you enjoy it. If you do, then please push all your publisher friends and let them know they should buy my manuscript and pay me a lot of money for it.
As she strolls down a street of your town, you catch her passage from the corner of your eye. Perhaps you've seen her a dozen times, but her exquisite packaging always evokes a sharp intake of breath. You don't know who she is, and it doesn't matter. She's a symbol. She is the twenty-year-old classic heartbreaker.
Her lower torso is decked in tight, white pedal-pushers, clam-diggers -- or whatever they call them these days -- and a discreet perusal of the twin globes of her poetic ass indicates the distinct outline of a thong, of the sort that adorns (you've been led to believe) the nether parts of many young females today. Meanwhile, the sleeveless top is tight over criminally firm breasts and the chopped off blonde mane sways with each step of her flip-flop adorned, enamel-nailed, toe-ring accented tiny sweet young feet.
It's almost too much to bear as she bops along past your line of scrutiny. She is a female symbol of the sort that has since the beginning of time ensured the continuation of the human race. She advertises her nubility and her newborn sexuality, so there's nothing unnatural about your subtly lecherous (you hope) ogling, or even the fantasies the ogling elicits within you.
Enjoy the vision, not to mention the fantasy, for it's nothing more than that. Take grim solace in the knowledge that the form will not last for more than another decade before age, childbearing and gravity will take their toll. Nature and the calendar are brutally honest in the changes to be invariably invoked on such tender manifestations of divinity. Her youthful beauty is but a tiny moment of joyous time. Let her bop down the street, humming a little song, turning heads all the while, aware without mistake that she is 'da one' -- for this instant in time.
Be happy for her -- and for you, for that matter. At her end there is the joy in her youth and her full recognition of the exquisiteness she offers the onlooker. At your end there is a blessing by way of a freedom in understanding that you don't need to worry about any of this. You're merely here, by this time in your life, to enjoy the show. It's not that you've given up on all aspirations, it's just that you, if you are reasonably well adjusted, are on your way to becoming a realist.
That is because you are finally of an age that lets you know she is not for you. She is not for you unless you possess a high six-figure income and were not whacked by 9/11, drive a black or silver something at the top of an exotic vehicular line, have access to at least a fifty-five-foot floatable device, a condo in Hawaii, and are regularly given to taking youthful protÃ©gÃ©s to winter in Monte Carlo. It happens for some -- but not for you. If such things are happening for you, then why are you reading this rather than indulging in something more poetic?
At one level it does all seem unfair. Unfair in that you couldn't have the likes of her when you were her age, because you were poor, unsophisticated and terrified of females of her pulchritude, and you cannot have her now because you're poor, unsophisticated, terrified of females of her pulchritude -- and also highly married, and getting just a teeny bit into the age neighborhood of her father, or maybe even her grandfather. How would you like her grandfather to be ogling your daughter? He probably does if she looks like the subject in question here. All men can be swine once in a while.
But, maybe you are still distressed by the aforementioned scene, and you still feel cheated that you can't be an active part of that pretty waif's scene. Acceptance of your chronological reality only applies if you have gone through your changes and come out the other side -- a mite bloody and slightly bowed.
If you haven't accepted your 'afternoon' yet:
Truly, if you haven't taken that sorely needed, difficult and time-consuming reality check, then you will remain distressed. Unresolved middle-age issues are why you sometimes feel sad, regretful, even resentful that your life hasn't worked out in any 'really special' way for you. Or, if it was exciting and dynamic in the past, it doesn't seem to be any longer. When you and Mick Jagger begin closing your days with Ovaltine instead of Courvoisier, life has surely lost an element of charm. But, from what you read, Mick is still Mick, and you're not. Yes, the old Mickster has gotten kind of pathetic -- not quite at the almost frightening HughHefner level of pathetic-ness -- but he's still hanging in there.
Yes, life is passing you by, and with each day the chances of carnal oblivion with somebody soft and tender, yet firm at the same time, fade into the ever-increasing mists of your days. And sexual regrets are only part of the equation. You've also had to accept the fact that your chances for wealth, fame and power seem just as far away today as they ever have, and maybe will never arrive no matter how many lottery tickets you buy. Maturity didn't bring the things you thought it would, like largesse, self-confidence, contentment, and a feeling of accomplishment.
What it brought instead was thinning hair, a paunch, chronic heartburn, diminished erectile function, and the need to pee five times a night if you consumed more than a tablespoon of liquid in the three hours prior to bedtime. And, even when it is bedtime, you can't get to sleep. If you do finally get to sleep you wake up before the birds! You wanted to be Cary Grant, and you ended up Rodney Dangerfield -- like most of us.