I am fifty-five years old. 55. Double-nickels.
I wrote the number; I observed the number, and since then I have been musing about my life’s journey. It’s an odd sensation to accept my body has carried around my mind for 55 revolutions around the heliocentric center, better known as the Sun.
When I was a child, I thought that 55 years old equaled near death. “Sucks to be you, dude!”
With my mother’s death last December 2nd during her 83rd travel around the Sun, the experience has graced me with the time to muse, to reflect.
I made myself reflect. I made myself remember my childhood.
I accepted my experiences, my decisions. I felt the real emotional pain.
I don’t allow emotional pain to fester; I try to get it out of my mind and body.
But before I get rid of pain, I had to seek the source, and then I felt the pain, to heal the pain. It still lingers inside me, it will always linger, I simply refuse to let it intimidate me.
I think my mother loved me in her own way, but toward the last part of her life we stopped communicating.
I didn’t understand her, and she didn’t understand me.
I used the first person pronoun, ‘I’, repeatedly; because this is my life journey as I think and feel.
Her death made me sad.
It’s not my typical way to bore people with my grief. But then, I realized many other people have felt the same.
So I started writing again.
The one thing I noticed, the sadness has freed me to communicate through my writing in an unvarnished tone. You can lie to yourself in writing, speaking, or acting, but I don’t recommend it.
Sitting here at 55 years of age, I think 83 seems a good number to kick off into the next dimension, until I might actually get closer to 83 years of age, and then hope for another healthy cycle around the Sun.
My old man has clicked beyond 85 oval shaped revolutions, so I think their union in early 1965 has gifted me with decent genetic instructions to exist for another 25 or 30 years, maybe more, maybe less.
If I am lucky.
Mostly, I’ve been fairly lucky in life.
I am aging!
I like my paying gig. I have good friends and peeps at work-work.
I could have died at birth, at five, or at any moment until now.
Self-distraction was and is an option, but I try to keep my hands lite on the steering wheel, moving at a moderate speed toward a shiny horizon while following a social distancing regime from other nearby humans.
If you inspect the photo I’ve shared, you’ll see my daily walking path through which I vector passed the docked boats and in front of the salmon painted Vinoy Hotel. It’s seen a lot of history walk passed its fancy front doors from when construction ended in 1925.
Sometimes I take a right and walk along the dark blue water toward the new St. Pete Pier, formerly the million dollar pier, and then travel the same downtown city streets where Babe Ruth and Al Capone once roamed freely.
But most of the time I walk forward during Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall into Vinoy Park and meander toward the beach area at the top of the photo, North Shore Park. And then I traverse along brick streets into the neighborhood Old Northeast and eventually turn back toward home.
It’s my choice. I have free will. I can decide to exercise or not. (At another time, we can discuss what free will really means as a philosophical pretense.)
I rarely quote other living or dead humans because that makes my words unoriginal and not deeply personal. I prefer honesty and being personal.
If you are going to express an opinion, say it without reservation and accept the response, favorable or not.
Death is a last frontier. I don’t know what will happen after the black curtains fall over my eyes. I hope my mother was reborn into another happy universe we cannot see within our visual spectrum, mostly because I loved her, in my own way.
But in the meantime, I wonder.
If the United States dollar is no longer considered a ‘store of value’, are Jeff Bezos or Elon Much still the richest persons on planet earth? (We’ll ignore political tyrants or inherited kingdoms)
If my simplistic math skills are correct: 0 (worthless) X $190 billion = 0 (worthless). Right?
(I’ll avoid the cryptocurrency discussion for a time when I actually understand how cryptocurrency works, or the idea of owning hard assets, or being highly liquid with a nation state’s cash, or scooping up gold and silver and hiding it all in a deep hole in the backyard under an old oak tree covered in Spanish moss, marked by a granite monument with the inscription, “there goes the neighborhood”.)
As a society, we legal citizens of the United States of America do not seem particularly – united. Life is not a zero sum game.
In my humble opinion, we are at each other’s throats encouraged by major media sources that play to our preferred narratives. For them, it’s about making profit from advertising by fomenting discord amongst the pet population.
I do know millions of my fellow Americans are hurting.
As in not having food or shelter as Washington DC dithers while paid anarchists and rioters attack Portland or invade the US Capitol building. I wonder if Nero has gotten his fiddle out?
It seems to me we are all living under a Sword of Damocles moment in time.
I think my friend’s daughter swerved into summing up my feelings, “Dad, I just wish we could read about all his in a history book.”
Over the last 20 years, Post 9/11 – we again elected a president with a well-known last name who seemed to be a pleasant fellow who preferred military expeditions. And then a smart dude who got lost in the social justice Washington DC sausage grinder. Followed by a sub-human that lives in a fantasy land where he yearns for on-sale hot babes, yellow hair and a spray tan, and now followed by a lifelong politician who I’m not sure is aware what day it is. I pray for his good health. I don’t think he’ll do anything stupid, but he seems quite fragile.
And so, our government is being led by human beings born in the 1940s, well before the invention, TCP/IP.
Our computer screens and smart phones instantly communicate, but if the pandemic has taught me any lesson, it’s that we as a society keep moving further apart into subsections while all the data is being stored in the Cloud.
I feel bad for anyone named, Karen.
Cosmology might define our society as inflationary encouraged by dark energy. (I know that’s some fancy bull chips, but you get my point.)
I have no children; it was a conscious choice. But I worry for my young nephews and nieces. I worry for my friend’s children. All the media hype and histrionics, were and are not, helpful.
What traumatic genetic scars will they carry forward into future generations from an earth stopping pandemic and closer to home a society that no longer communicates without the backdrop of potential violence?
Federal, state and local governments that do not seem well prepared to share financial resources, create reasonable policies, or other for the common good while at the same time our bridges and streets crumble.
And it’s not about privacy. Protecting our genetic code, that information is freely available. We can now manipulate our genetic instructions to attempt to eradicate certain diseases or better, create a boy or a girl with certain preferred phenotypic traits.
People have invented algorithms that predict human behaviors. I wish those algorithms encouraged more hugs and expressions like; I love you or I am sorry.
I wish those algorithms helped encourage communication and understanding. I think those algorithms are societies genetic code.
But that’s just me musing as I walk about St. Pete.
It’s okay to disagree. At least we peacefully communicated our differences and agreed to disagree.
Now, can you pass me the mashed potatoes?
I always loved my mother’s mashed potatoes, they were almost silk like and then topped with real brown gravy she had magically created from a hot cast-iron skillet.