Give me your answer, fill in a form
Mine for evermore
Will you still need me, will you still feed me,
When I'm sixty-four?
--When I'm Sixty-Four, the Beatles
And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair
--The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,
T. S. Eliot
For age is opportunity no less
Than youth itself, though in another dress,
And as the evening twilight fades away
The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day
--Morituri Salutamus, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
I would give the world to see
How I used to be
When I had no axe to grind
Except for Chopping Wood
--Gold Fever, Clint Eastwood
You told me again you preferred handsome men
but for me you would make an exception
--Chelsea Hotel No. 2, Leonard Cohen
Today is my birthday.
I am long past the point of being considered handsome, or even pretty. My lip has been ripped in two and repaired, my neck bears a surgical scar and cervical spine carries the pain of successive parachute accidents. My spine is crooked and legs and hands numb. My left nut has been surgically repaired thrice, and it is doubtful the right one is marching his post in a military or any other matter.
I do not fear death because I have lived 40 years longer than I ever expected to such air through my lungs.
How do you define a man? Samuel Beckett in his book Murphy devoted a chapter to describing the "seedy solipsist" -- every possible measurement of his being is given. However, at the end of the tally, one realizes they are no closer to knowing the man.
In our culture, the first question is, "What do you do?" Gotta establish credibility. If one is retired, what then? Is one vitiated? Then it becomes stuff collected, or hobbies. As for me, I no longer value conversation, and disdain small talk, and don't particularly value most people. Perhaps this is what Kundera meant by the Unbearable Lightness of Being -- no one matters all that much.
Am I an Asperger's? Have I simply consorted with those types for long enough that I have subsumed some of their traits? Who is to say, but talking does not provide a savored sweetness, and written dialog has replaced chats.
I draw my perimeter in close. Did seeing combat cause this behavior? There is no way to undo it, so who is to know? Perhaps I have always had a predilection for isolation and melancholy. Perhaps it was just one of many instigating factors which drew out and ramped up the essential indifference. I have found an excellent antidepressant regime which allows me pleasure in my possessions, but not much else. I have often used SERE training points to get through the day.
When looking up the name for such a person on WikiAnswers, I smiled at the following response: "A person who lives alone by choice has, most likely, a low tolerance for total dickheads." Not having enjoyed much success in the endeavor, this may offer part of the answer. In Greek, I am literally a solophicead (desirous of living alone.)
Women and friend's wives shun my presence. They know it is in their interests to keep their husbands clear of my attitudes. My attitudes are easily felt, but often inveighing.
This week a stray German Shepherd took refuge on my property, and I just couldn't shoot it, yet there are people I still regret not killing. It is a strange mental terrain to occupy. Eventually I'll probably have to kill the dog since people continue to dump their unwanted pets out here in the country, and when I do, it will be with sadness.
It is usual to say old age beats the alternative, but how do we know this is true? For all my scars, I am in fairly good health, and should have gratitude, but I don't particularly feel it. I recognize my blessings, as they are called. I do not live in need; I can buy most things I want. Objects are safe, people are not.
I lack an effusive spirit, but am glad to share in this forum, and am appreciative for you, my readers.