The most recent picture of me taken last December. I’m on the left in blue.
Today is my birthday and I am 59 years old. I am on the edge of a whole new decade, a whole new series of numbers. Mortality is waving at me. I see it there at the back of the crowd and I am slowly making my way over to it. I’m doing OK for almost 60. Life doesn’t seem very much different than a decade ago. I’m tired of doing certain things, I’m tired of the process of making a living sometimes but then I was tired of those things a decade ago. Back when I entered the 50s, I was still doing the river guide thing. I don’t do that anymore but I’ve been pretty consistent about going to the gym for the last 6 years. My hair is still dark and I don’t color it. You have to look close to see the strands of gray. This was, apparently, the line I was standing in when attractive physical attributes were being handed out.
I was at the gym earlier in the week, talking to two of the friends I have made there who work out in the same time slot, two guys who I figured were about 8 - 10 years younger than me. We joke around a lot. When I told them it was my birthday in a few days one of them looked at me straight faced and guessed 49? I must have given him an incredulous look because his subsequent guesses went lower till he finally sputtered out. ‘Did I guess terribly wrong?’, he asked. ‘Try 59’, I told him. ‘You’re hot!’, he says, ‘59, you look great.’ I struck a pose. He says, ‘you need a T-shirt.’ The other one says, ‘Fine at 59.’ I’ll take it.
Fine at 59.