If anyone wants to know how I spent some of the last days of my life being 34, I spent it as sick as a dog. It could be the bug going around work. It could be because I don’t believe in flu shots. It could be because the weather can’t decide whether it wants to be pleasant or freezing and the temperature keeps changing within the span of a day. Finally, it could be my whole body repudiating the idea of getting older. That last one is the likeliest scenario. I’ve decided that dread is what caused the miserable last few days I just had.
There’s nothing like being sick to get a person nostalgic. Being sick when you’re still dependent on your parents is the best – someone will be there to get you Royal Tru-orange and chicken congee, to make sure you’re taking fluids and that you’re comfortable. My mother never did believe in giving me meds. That’s partially because I’m allergic to Tylenol (truth), so her method of getting me well was just seeing me through the inferno with sponge baths and the aforementioned soft drink and porridge. Flash forward to being an adult, and I’m doing it all by myself. No, being married doesn’t help when Le Hubs has to work so I end up doing everything by myself, including making my own porridge. It’s a sad parody of my youth.
I feel like I’ve spent the past decade of my life becoming an expert at lying about my age. I also feel like I’ve become so good at it, I’ve ended up believing my own fairy tale, that I’m never going to age and I will be seventeen forever. With every year that passes, the fabric of my fantasy world frays just a bit more, and I get closer and closer to the realization that I can lie all I want about how old I truly am but nothing is going to change what my birth certificate says.
I blame my best friend for bringing this up. Here I am, happily engrossed in my own life and he had to rudely knock me upside the head and remind me that I am turning 35 this month, the bastard. He’s gloating because he gets to stay 34 for all of four days after I do, as if that changes anything.
Here’s what I want for my 35th: a portrait of me that absorbs the ravages that time will make on my poor body. Of course it’ll be locked in an attic somewhere, enabling me to stay preternaturally youthful out in the real world. It’ll probably be more expensive than all the plastic surgery in the world (it only costs a SOUL!), but if you could bottle that shit up, it would sell like hotcakes. I could, of course, opt for the alternative – lead a healthy, active lifestyle training for marathons and eating exclusively organic fruits and vegetables with very little red meat and next to no salt or sugar, but I sadly have no willpower.
And so, the hunt for eternal life and eternal youth continues with the war being fought with needles, cow poison and Restylane. Right now, getting old is like being stuck in a rowboat with a hole in the bottom while a storm rages all around you and all you have is a tiny tin cup to bail yourself out with. God help us all.