Thursday, December 30, 2010
I Just Turned 40 an Hour Ago
which puts me in the twilight years of my botched life. Ain't a damn thing changed, though. I've known it was coming. I also knew that the Cossatot River would be running at a sweetheart level today and that my mom would be visiting from Houston and that I would choose, because everything in life is choice, to spend my birthday with her and my wife and son rather than leaving at six in the morning to do the one thing I say I love to do but have proven that I don't love to do because I consistently chose not to do it whenever the rare opportunity arises. I have the heart of a kayaker but life has given me a triple bypass. Actually that's bullshit. I do not have the heart of a kayaker. I do not have the heart of a runner, climber, bicycler, or even a disc golfer. Truth is, and I understand this with greater clarity now, at 40, than I ever have before--the truth is that I have the heart of a man, or a person, let's say, who has never broken a bone or even had a stitch, save the one which closed my gum after having a wisdom tooth pulled. I have the heart of a person so cautious that the most dangerous thing I've done in my life is fail to properly brush my back teeth, and that was more a matter of poor technique than intent; I tried my best to brush every tooth! But forty is here. Forty is the age when you realise who you are, and that who you are is who you are, and that who you are is not going to change. Forty is the age when you are able to examine your past decisions regarding kayaking and from that, accurately project future decisions. For instance, I know with great certainty that I will puss out from at least one trip to the Ocoee next summer. No doubt I'll have some lame excuse like "It's my son's birthday" or "I'm taking my boy camping" as if my son has no mother to take care of him. It's hard, I tell you! It's hard knowing that I could go kayaking tomorrow on the Cossatot and that doing so would not result in me getting divorced and that I reached the decision not to go kayaking very easily. Is it possible that in the deepest depth of my soul, in the part of me which I never explore because I'm afraid of what I might find--is it possible that I'm actually looking forward to the quaint and understated celebration my wife no doubt has planned for me in which by boy hands me the wrapped Andis Ceramic Advanced Hair Clipper #21490 which I've already purchased on ebay along with a card drawn in crayons and a cupcake with one of those candles shaped like a 40? Could that be?