I’ll say it again. Age is a funny trick. I’ll say that yes, in the days of my youth, I thought that I was funny. I thought that it was funny to remind older people that they weren’t so young anymore. I remember being told by my older friends and relatives, “Just wait and see!”
But me, I never thought I would grow old. I never thought I would have certain conversations with doctors about things so humbling like, for example, I never thought it would be me who sat across from a doctor and heard them ask about setting up a colonoscopy.
I mean, really?
I admit it. If I were to meet my younger self now (and if I could catch him) I’d probably strangle the crazy, young little bastard that I used to be.
I mean, think about this: I could eat anything and not gain an ounce. I was able to stay out late, or for almost the entire night and still make it into work the next day. I had a strong libido. I could work hard and play hard and, well, in the crazy angst of my youth – I was less of a planner of my future and more of a man in the moment. But ah, this is what happens when you’re young and shortsighted.
Had I not centered in a new form of change, one could say, “Don’t worry about me. I know what I’m doing” would be printed on my grave. But fortunately, change happens and growth comes.
Unfortunately, lessons like this do not come easily; nor were my lessons easy either. But one thing is for sure.
There are no worries about the future when you’re young and the future has a plethora of tomorrows. Besides, the future is for old people. Right? So eat up. Go out. Blow your paycheck. Be wild and be daring or be as crazy as you want because who cares about being careful? Am I right?
In short, the answer is no.
I was wrong and the sudden awareness of how wrong I was came to me in a humbling way.
I saw a photograph and wondered, “Oh my God, who is that fat fuck?”
Right there and then; at the moment when I realized, “Holy shit!’ that fat fuck was me, I came into a moment of humility.
I recognized my features but not my face. I saw that I had gained weight, which I knew had happened. But it wasn’t until this moment of realization that I realized how much.
Right around this time, I started hearing from people who were telling me, “Um, hey . . . you might wanna slow down on that pasta there, big boy” to which I denied because this wasn’t me.
I could eat anything, couldn’t I?
I have a metabolism, don’t I?
Well, I used to.
I saw someone in the middle of Grand Central Station. This was an old acquaintance that I had not seen in several years.
And what was the first thing he said to me?
“When did you gain all that weight?”
I believe we’ve spoken about this before in earlier pages and perhaps in earlier journals as well.
However, this is a good entry to repeat this lesson.
The look of astonishment on my old acquaintance’s face when he realized it was me was insulting.
After his barrage of insulting questions, all I thought to myself was, “Why the fuck did I say hello to this guy?”
But again, Karma is a funny thing and Karma likes to laugh. . .
For example, there was a young woman who used to work in the same building as I did. She was always very fit. As fate would have it, after years of not seeing this person, I noticed her walking past me.
I said hello and she said hello as well.
I noticed a bump in her belly which was certainly not something she had ever had before.
I smiled and happily congratulated her to which, her smile evaporated and vanished like water on a hot rock.
This is when she explained, “I’m not pregnant” to which I replied, “Well, it was nice to see you” and then I ran away to make a quick escape.
Karma . . .
Karma was especially funny when I started to realize that changing my eating habits was less than an easy trick. I had to change all of the good sauciness and carb-fueled meals and the fast foods, which were like my crack/cocaine to me or heroin in some regards. I went to things like salads or fat-free ventures which, in fairness, I can remember eating these so-called healthy “replacements” and feeling as if I were being betrayed by my best and closest friend.
(It was so sad!)
I was exercising though. I was keeping at it. In fact, I am not now, nor will I ever be a real gym person. But be that as it may, I was going to the gym at 5:00am, every morning. By the way, I hated this. I hated the people who wanted to be all chatty-patty and say hello or good morning.
I would go to the gym in the afternoons as well. Oh, and hint, hint, this is where Karma comes in.
I used to laugh and tell people not to hate me because I was beautiful. Not that I believed I was actually beautiful. But I was thin. And being thin helped.
Perhaps I have mentioned this as well, but I used to pass around the old saying, “Don’t hate the player. Hate the game!”
Well, the game changed and there I was, sweating it out on the elliptical machine with way too much weight on my body.
I thought I was doing well too until a young high school kid who was probably on the wrestling team strolled in. And seriously, there is no reason why anyone should ever be this good looking.
No reason at all!
He had on a tank top that was ripped and a hat that was shifted over to the side with his hair all perfectly sticking out; as if to possibly impregnate every young woman in the establishment simply by walking past them.
His physique was absolutely ridiculous to which I say again that there is no reason for anyone to be this good looking.
Now, for the record, I don’t know why this happened nor am I sure why this young man was comfortable stopping at my machine. Nor am I sure why he thought it was necessary to call me “Mister,” but he did.
His words, exactly, while pointing at the red, digital numbers on the dashboard of my machine which tells about my heartrate –
He said, “Excuse me Mister.”
Mister? He said this like I should remember my Geritol or find my AARP card.
I looked at him, only slightly pausing and slowing down, because I knew in my heart, nothing this kid was about to say to me was going to be good.
He pointed at my dashboard and said, “Better watch your heart rate. You could have a heart attack.” Then he just walked away.
My heart dropped.
I stopped my machine. I cleaned the dashboard of the elliptical and wiped down all the parts that I touched because, at that moment, I had been made aware of myself. Finally, as I moved into a new phase of realization and awareness, I took my towel and patted my face. I grabbed my things. I left. Jumped in my car and bought a burrito before going home . . .
I was nutritionally inept.
Karma though, that bitch . . .
She’s a funny one.