Damn You, Time, Damn You!

I ventured into Manchester this morning, ostensibly to show our new Swiss student how to get to the English Language Academy, but I also wanted to pick up a couple of pair of jeans. I had asked my wife if I should get the type that have the fashionable tears in them, to which she pointed out that I am now forty two and have left it too late to jump the fashion train.

Heeding her advice, I walked my retro walk around town instead. It was when I went to try on the jeans that I had selected that I realised just how in denial I am about the passage of time.
In the accusing confines of the fitting room, I was trapped in a cell clad with mirrors on every side. A reflection of me of a reflection of me of a reflection of me ramming home an echoing damnation that I am no longer the young guy that I always claim to be.

Caught in that kaleidoscope of unforgiving mirrors, there was nowhere for me to hide. I could see for the first time how much weight I have put on, but more disconcertingly, I could see just how much my hair is thinning.

Thickening below, thinning above, I am taking the tonsure of terror.

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Damn you, merciless time, damn you!

Within this emphasised and enhanced indictment of visual decay, I donned for the first time my badge of middle age. I came out of that fitting room a changed man, in both attire and attitude, finally aware of where I am on life’s path.

But It didn’t last.

Away from those revealing mirrors and waistline labels, I put it all out of mind, flipping the finger at mobility scooters and high fiving the school-skipping kids riding the escalators. I was quite cool in my denial again. I really am adept at constructing my own reality.

But this time, uniquely, my facade would be occasionally pierced. Everywhere I looked, on the journey home, there were reminders.

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I shrugged them off as I boarded my bus, put on my iPod, sent texts to my homies, and wondered, not for the first time,  ‘just what the hell is snapchat?’

I made a mental note to ask my daughter.

 

 

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23 thoughts on “Damn You, Time, Damn You!

  1. I am already donning two white hairs which, when they re-grow, I systematically yank out before my mind has time to register that I am ageing. So, in my own way, I am balding a little. Billie Joe Armstrong is also only 42 and rocks the slit-jeans and all that, I’m sure you could too! Haha.

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    • As a further sign of age, I had to google Billie Joe Armstrong. You will be relieved to hear that I am familiar with Green Day 🙂 I was only born two months before him, that wee bairn.
      Remaining in my childhood town I often see my ‘old’ school mates around, both male and female. Some are holding up comparatively well, others are, well, you know. I think I’m doing okay for my age. And I’m holding onto my teeth

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      • I don’t believe you can go far wrong with good dentistry! And may even make an interesting subject for a few ‘snaps’.
        (Un-intended pun!)
        I can’t wait to hear about your Snapchatting experiences!

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      • When I said I was holding onto my teeth, I meant in my hand 🙂
        I think I should forego Snapchat, for my own sanity. I’m already on WordPress, Facebook, Genes Reunited and Goodreads. I’ve resisted Twitter so far. I’m trying to remain in this physical, tangible world. But which is real?

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      • Oh I see! I was probably trying to subconsciously repress the images of my grandma taking out and holding her teeth and didn’t suspect! Haha. I should maybe update my Goodreads more often, although I seem to read a lot of ‘weird’ stories and I’ve found if you tell someone you’re reading a novel about a psychotic serial killer they tend to think you’re looking for tips..

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      • I’m only joking-my gnashers remain my own 🙂
        Weird is good. I like to vary what I read,shake up the order a little. I finished my shark book-it is heartening to know that there are people trying to restore balance, but I think the future looks bleak for them. Now I’m reading a short Wallander story, the Swedish detective, and I have today ordered a vampire novel to be delivered to my local library. Speaking of gnashers 🙂

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      • Yes, I can sense the variation there- sharks, vampires and Swedish detectives, sounds like an interesting combination and maybe even the storyline for Jaws 5. I sometimes delve into fantasy and cheesy romances but I’m more of a gritty realism kind of reader… reading to escape… head-first back into a ghoulish reality!

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      • The only book of his that I’ve read is Atonement. Thinking of it now I get it confused with the film version that I’ve seen! So can’t say how faithful the adaptation is. A blogger on here, a Swede in Brussels heading for Paris! recommended to me What I Loved, by Siri Can’t Recall Her Surname 🙂 That was good. Even though I know nothing about art (one of the characters is an artist).
        Totally different is Fup-had me startled at the beginning perplexed at the end, and laughing out loud in the middle. That one’s only short, can be read in an afternoon. Think the author is Jim Dodge.

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      • Atonement was on the optional reading list last year for my English class, but I hear it’s a sad one and I’d learnt from the last year’s WW1 literature course that getting choked up in an exam isn’t terribly wise! Haha. I’ve had a read-up of Fup and it sounds very good, so I shall no doubt be putting it on my ‘to-read’ list. 🙂

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      • I liked Fup. It was recommended to me by a writer who used to be local but now lives in America. He has become, in his own words, a little evangelical about it.
        My favourite is still To Kill A Mocking bird though. That and a couple of King books-Salem’s Lot, and It. Good books need not be literate, high brow affairs!
        Anyway, National Poetry day today. I’ve put one up-hope to read a PJ effort tonight 🙂

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      • Yes, To Kill A Mockingbird is an all time favourite of mine too. 🙂
        The Catcher in the Rye is also a classic which I seem to find myself yearning to re-read often.
        I’ve seen the film of Salem’s Lot! But only read Misery and The Shining of his. Haha, I agree with you.. can’t be doing with those snobby readers… give me sharks and vampires over War and Peace anyday. Haha. 🙂

        I didn’t realise that it was National Poetry day! I did help a year ten class today who were looking at Seamus Heaney poems though. Perhaps helping a student understand Iambic Pentameter makes up for how I don’t have much in the way of poetry myself at the moment! Only a few ideas which so far have not met with pen and paper terribly successfully as of yet.
        I did really enjoy reading your poetry post though. 🙂

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      • As always, the book Salem’s Lot is so much better than the film. I’ve read loads of King, including shorter stories like the ones that spawned the films The Shawshank Redemption and Stand By Me. Also Green Mile.
        I would definitely recommend to you It, though. It is so much more than a story about a freaky clown 🙂 I love the depiction of small town childhood life. It’s quite long, but I’ve read it twice.
        You really are good at the technical aspects of poetry-I’m not! All that lambic meter stuff-I have never stuck to any form of structure when I write. I find it stifling-sometimes what I write may rhyme, sometimes it may not. I think you could probably tell when you read my stuff! I think it Dylan wrote something about poetry being his sullen craft (something like that). I am much too lazy to regard it as a craft-I just write off the cuff. I suspect you really are talented at school, you could teach me all that I am ignorant about.
        But I still expect a poem from you Ms PJ-even a short one! My Gargoyles came about from a comment on another writer’s blog, who challenged me to turn it into something more poetic. You are a very talented wordsmith Ms PJ-Poetry Day finishes at midnight…tick…tock…. 🙂 Your audience of me awaits 🙂

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      • I can imagine that ‘It’ makes for an interesting read… I think I was fairly young when I watched that one. I’ve wanted to read the ‘Green Mile’ for a long time now actually, as I adore the film, would you recommend it?
        I’m not all that much into the technicalities of poetry either, especially with regards to form. One of my favourite film scenes of all time is from the Dead Poet’s society when he gets the students to tear out the page in their text book which explains how to ‘rate’ poetry on a graph using a formula relating to it’s techniques etc. You’ve probably seen it. 🙂
        You’re too kind with your compliments! Thank you. Your cuffs certainly don’t lack talent!

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      • Yes I recommend anything by King, he’s a great writer.
        I think there has been a certain snobbery towards writers of the horror genre (although King has developed into more than just a horror writer) in the world of literature, maybe an attitude of them not being ‘real’, serious writers. But I would point out the likes of Stoker, Shelley, Poe, and Lovecraft as exceptions. Perhaps it is only time, and death, that enhances reputations.
        Yeah Dead Poets-the newly missed Williams. I must watch that again.

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  2. Ha! My niece told me about Snapchat!
    I hear you on the clothes issue. I won’t say how old I am, but I also have to face the issue of whether some outfits seem “too young” for me (and whether the general public who will be forced to see me in them would totally agree).

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  3. Ha ha ha! I am much older then you so don’t even try to make me feel sorry for you, especially with the women’s styles these days. It is actually acceptable to they to pour yourself into something that makes your rear look like two pods fighting under a blanket, so that those of us who wear clothes that fit actually look dowdy. But I’ve got the hair under control. Grey covered with red, every 5 weeks! I know what snapchat is, but can’t explain it!

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