I started writing this on September fifteenth, three months to the day from December fifteenth, which will be my sixty-third trip around the sun. As I’m sure many people over the age of sixty will tell you, the days go by quickly now. I can do the math too. Jaws came out in 1975, forty-two years ago, and I remember sitting in the theater probably not caring a whit about where I’d be in 2017, but yeah — sixty-three plus forty-two equals 2059 and that’s some bad hat, Harry.
It also dawned on me this morning that my father passed away at sixty-three, so if the stars align and fate allows, I will surpass that mark unless some twit in a Hyundai zigs out of his lane while checking his Snapchat, but I’m an optimist, as my mother always was. My glass is half full.
I’m checking in with my various doctors, as every good senior citizen is supposed to do, and my numbers are all where they are supposed to be for somebody twenty-five years old. There are some issues, but I made a promise to myself during an especially dark morning a year or so ago that if things got even microscopically better, I’d never complain about what I’ve lost; rather I’d be grateful for what I have and a promise is a promise. Things got better.
I hiked around Durand Eastman Park for two hours this past week, going up and down hills steeper than common sense and sneakers should allow, and felt great afterward. Accomplished, even. I passed an equally time-worn man, who, in the middle of nowhere, set up a chair, Pandora, and two fishing poles alongside the water. I quietly said “hi” as I passed, not wanting to break his moment, and he replied with a hearty, “Good morning, brother.” I don’t even call my own brother “brother,” so this caught me off-guard for a good mile as the echo followed me through the forest.
Truth be told, I’m enjoying photography more than writing right now, but as I sit here, words flowing, windows open, with a cup of Peruvian and my dog, Milo, nearby, this feels pretty good too. Mrs. G. is still asleep in the other room, but once she wakes up, I’ll hit “save” and join her out on the back porch.
When I fill out forms, sometimes I put “author” in the occupation box, and sometimes I put “photographer.” I’ve been paid for both, so I suppose either would be correct. If I want to mix things up, I’ll fill in the box with “raconteur.” Nobody reads these forms anyway. I never write “retired” because that, to me anyway, implies that I do nothing which couldn’t be further from the truth. On my sixty-third birthday, I’ll go online and file for Social Security, so I suppose it’ll be official then.
It’s been an interesting year, and I don’t mind sharing some of it publicly, but in this new age of everybody’s breakfast turning into an Instagram meme, I’m keeping some moments private. Life needs mystery.