15 may 1999




on the road to my rocker

I’ve talked a lot here about how my physical decline has become noticeable after passing 40. Instead of wailing about impending final exams or wondering whether or not that girl in chemistry thinks I’m hot, I go on about my lawn or I moan about the maladies that afflict specific organs of my body. I have a feeling there’s not a lot of coeds or frat boys out there at North Sorghum U. who simply can’t wait to read my next entry. If they do run across Evaporation it’s probably an accident, having misspelled ejaculation in a Yahoo search. Their visit will be a brief and unique anomaly in their surfing, and they’ll come away with the impression that my character is very different from theirs.

Which is not true. It’s just older.

Lately I've been browsing through the journals of college teens just to get a taste of how it used to be and I've found in their entries the same pains and questions that orbited my ego back when I was that age. That was more than half my life ago, yet my character hasn’t really changed; it’s been cured, pickled maybe, with the torn edges worn smooth, and softened in a concoction distilled from the blandest pulps and the most corrosive acids I could find or have thrown on me. I connect easily when I read about the torments of people at the beginning of their adulthood and I always come away reassured -- poking around in somebody's 19-year-old angst makes me glad I'm not that age anymore.


Speaking of collegians, my neighbor Dave, who I’m proud to say is roughly the same age as I, received a business management degree today. More importantly, there was a barbecue to honor that event. Among his many gifts was a new barbecue grill.

Our gift to him was a book of quotations, one of the same books I use to find those pithy little bons mots found on my sidebars here. When I was in line at the bookstore, two, count 'em, two people's cell phones rang as their turn at the cashier came up. They each carried on, writing their checks and chatting away, and whaddya know it's technoworld and it's now, right here in River City. It's probably just a randomly timed cluster, but it seems to me that over the last few months cell phones have multiplied exponentially. I don't use mine very often. It's nice to have though, especially when your kid has a health concern. And golly, you never know nowadays when you're gonna run into badguys, or answer the question "How's My Driving?"

I'm not a phone person. I rarely initiate a call just to chat. But there is a phone, a very special phone, that I'd like to make a call from. I'd make the trip in a second if I had the time.

Alright. Back to weekend life in suburbia. I think I've qualified adequately for that coveted dull man nomination.


photo by phil saltonstall

today's music:



today's wisdom:

"The basic fact about human existence is not that it is a tragedy, but that it is a bore. It is not so much a war as an endless standing in line."

- H.L. Mencken


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