15 4 mins 9 yrs

I woke up Sunday morning and noticed I had difficulty hearing in one of my ears. Since it was the ear adjacent to my wife, I thought at first, deaf where is thy sting? But I grew worried during the day as it did not seem to recover. I had always considered myself behind Van Gogh in art work created, but ahead in the number of useful ears. Either I had to recover my hearing or start painting. Lucky for me, it seems to have been a passing thing.

Among my grievances as I have aged is the fact that I went from skinny bastard to fat bastard without a lull to experience fit and chiseled bastard for any period of time. Middle Age apparently provides for no soothing middle period except among the ridiculously healthy whose company I have shunned like Dracula avoids the sun.

I spent most of my life going to Italian barbers who spoke during my haircuts with the frequency of Easter Island Statues. When I got older I had a period of time where I went to a Salon (mistaking it for a saloon) where chatty, underdressed and lovely women cut my hair and called it on at least one occasion “lush”. However, I have returned to the stoic barbers of my youth as my hair has begun its retreat. Sadly, it appears that while it leaves the top of my head it has sought out small colonies elsewhere. An experience that is disconcerting to say the least. Perhaps the old-fashioned full-bodied bathing suits can come back into fashion.

The weekend before I lugged a ladder around my parents’ home, cleaning their gutters. I had thought if I paced myself, carrying the ladder would not be too much of a problem. I did not reckon with the simpler act of climbing and descending the ladder which made my knees feel like I had crawled on my knees on some pilgrimage over miles of rock. No doubt years of Irish-Catholic cross-country running in decades gone by had taken their toll, but I had no idea I might qualify for the lead male role in Porgy and Bess by such a simple household chore.

Last week I had my eyes tested at the Department of Motor Vehicles and was asked to read line 8 on the chart. I had to ask where the chart was.

Decline is of course inevitable. Dying is no great deal, the least of us manage it as the man once said. I suppose as I continue on I’ll continue to have things fall out, off and down. My mornings to become a sad symphony of groans, creaks and cracks (and that is simply to get out of bed). That I’ve gained some wisdom with age, there is no doubt, but of course I’ll start to forget that as well.

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15 thoughts on “I Sing The Body Not So Electric

  1. // deaf where is thy sting?//

    Beautiful throughout, mahons.

    As for aging, I always think that if so many peole do something, there must be some good in it.

    And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
    Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,
    With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
    His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
    For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
    Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
    And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
    That ends this strange eventful history,
    Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
    Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

  2. Mahons,
    Good bit of humorous writing again.

    Just one question: did you mean to write,
    “No doubt years of Irish-Catholic cross-country running”

    or should it have been “years of Irish-Catholic cross-gender dressing?”

  3. Noel,

    Far from beautiful in part or throughout, – he has had but a glimpse of what he has in-store. He has yet to have the shame of using a walking stick to go from car park to restaurant, and possibly the joy of using a buggy to use when shopping the local mall, arthritis shows neither fear nor favour.

    As for eyesight – don’t we have all that wonderful laser surgery? – but not if you have cataracts! – old age gets you – one way or another!

    The secret to coming to terms with all this crap? – look forward, and only look back to remind yourself just how very lucky you have been and how lucky you are. Ignore those who have no conversation other than their latest op, – they are only trying to make you feel as miserable as themselves. Do the things you’ve always wanted to do – if she will let you, above all – look forward to tomorrow – it’s going to be a wonderful day!!!

    Lastly, look at those who follow you and develope your sympathetic side, they are amusing, – in much the same way as you were at their age, and like cheese mature remarkably well. What goes around, surely comes around!

  4. Do you work out?

    Do a few pushups every other day, and gradually build it up.

    It takes little time, and it makes a difference. Swear.

  5. Do I work out? Why of course. Utilizing he handle on the recliner, lifting 12 once bottles of beer, and of course walking around looking for the remote control to the television.

  6. Switch to 16 or 24 ounce ” tall boy ” Budweiser cans.

    More resistance will lead to more muscle.

  7. Hilarious essay – but seriously, Mahons, you are way too young to feel so old.

    Get thee to the gym. Reallocate your spare beer money and hire a trainer.

    Vanity motivates you – use it to your advantage. Hire a nubile female trainer who will meet you daily at the gym – she will watch you exercise and she will chart your progress – your ego will do the rest.

    Lose the weight and feel young again.

  8. One of my heroes, Neil Armstrong, said we have a finite number of heartbeats, and that he didn’t want to waste any of his doing exercise.

  9. What Colm said.

    In my limited defense (as verified by ATW eyewitness accounts and photographs that not even our conspiracy theorists could argue with, I am over my playing weight but not obese. (In other words, I am not from Ohio just yet).

  10. //You sound like Rush Limbaugh.//

    Patty, link us to something of RL that you think is the most humorous or witty thing he ever said or wrote, and let’s all compare it and the above on their merits.

  11. Noel, I wasn’t commenting on the quality or quantity of the Wit.

    Rush, like Mahons and Neil Armstrong, think: exercise is over-rated, thank-you very much.

    As a Californian exercise-buff, I disagree. I need to say, though, that exercise, by itself, is not the point. Exercise is the means to the end. The end is less weight.

    Over-weight is the problem. Of course, one can simply stop eating and lose weight – but for most people, this is just too difficult.

    I know, I know…Mahon’s little essay is partially tongue-in-cheek and provides a pleasant laugh and diversion…

    still…. fat= feeling old and ultimately results in poor health. Lose weight and feel young again.

  12. Oh, sorry, I misunderstood.

    I remember in Ireland in the old days everyone was so comfortable because everyone was so plain and shabby. It was a kind of national consensus. There was absolutely no pressure to look well or dress well. People could then get on with the business of living and thinking, talking and drinking.

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