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martes, octubre 05, 2010

When I'm 64

Actually, I'll be 64 on Saturday. Believe me, this is a surprise to me. I mean: I do not think of myself as 63 (at this minute). When I look in the mirror, sometimes I think I'm looking at my dad, but, as I said, then I realize it's me. I didn't know what 64 would feel like, so of course, it's a surprise of sorts, how I am, and it's not really what I expected. Truth be told, my coming birthday seems surprisingly normal to me. Surprisingly uneventful.

Knowing that this particular event was arriving shortly, and thinking that things that appear "normal," require a great deal of thought and contemplation, more than other events, I have been thinking about that Beatles tune. The one sung by Ringo. You know what I'm talking about:

When I get older losing my hair,
Many years from now.
Will you still be sending me a valentine
Birthday greetings bottle of wine.

If I'd been out till quarter to three
Would you lock the door,
Will you still need me, will you still feed me,
When I'm sixty-four.

You'll be older too,
And if you say the word,
I could stay with you.

I could be handy, mending a fuse
When your lights have gone.
You can knit a sweater by the fireside
Sunday mornings go for a ride.

Doing the garden, digging the weeds,
Who could ask for more.
Will you still need me, will you still feed me,
When I'm sixty-four.

Every summer we can rent a cottage,
In the Isle of Wight, if it's not too dear
We shall scrimp and save
Grandchildren on your knee
Vera, Chuck & Dave

Send me a postcard, drop me a line,
Stating point of view
Indicate precisely what you mean to say
Yours sincerely, wasting away

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 was initially enjoying that song, back when it was released on Sgt. Pepper, way back in 1967, I didn't really contemplate that the time would arrive when I myself would actually reach 64. That seemed very far away in the invisible, distant future, far beyond the horizon. And then there was a shark and squid and stinging jelly fish infested ocean of circumstance and chance and uncertainty between where I was then standing and there. Mortality, mine and everyone else's, was out there, just beyond the shore. And it was that enormous, unforeseeable distance that made the song so very romantic. Who could imagine anything or anyone lasting so long? Who could continue to stand in the face of all powerful impermanence? Who would actually make it that far into the future and somehow arrive at the other shore and contemplate the voyage?

And then, seemingly all of a sudden, now, here I am. What a long strange trip it's been. Yes, I have far, far less hair. Staying out till a quarter to 3 is infrequent. But enjoyable. And the rest of it? The rest of it? Yes. It's there, or something approximating it. The surprise, if there really is one, is that I didn't really expect to get here, and I had no idea that once being here I would feel as I do now. I still feel remarkably like me. I guess I expected that somehow I wouldn't. Please don't ask me who I would feel like if I didn't feel like me.

So on Saturday I'm 64. Will you be sending me a Valentine, birthday greeting, bottle of wine? Will you lock the door? Will you still need me, will you still read me, when I'm 64.

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Anonymous jessie said...

Happy birthday!

3:09 p.m.  

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