I turned 46 last wednesday but didn’t write a post or write privately at all and that set things wrong – writing quietly by myself on my birthday has been sacrosanct for years. It’s the thing I do for myself to set my compass, to be present, to acknowledge that I’ve made it one more year on this earth and in this body. I’ve felt weird every day since. I sat down tonight because I feel the itch to set the compass but I am strangely empty of purposeful words. I Promised myself I’d sit down and say shit to myself, be real, but not maudlin.
This is my soundtrack today:
Shit. While writing this I just got the news that David Bowie died today, two days after his 69th birthday. Fellow Capricorn. Luminary. He got me through my worst nervous breakdown, his music propelled me forward when I was scared, gave me the courage not to hide myself, to explore poetry and expression. He made me feel I belonged. He took the sting out of being otherly.
Well, I’ve cried and just feverishly looked for the etching I made of David Bowie in High School art class and the drawing I did of him but only found the drawing I did of Joan Crawford and Billy Idol.
If I was David Bowie I’d have 21 more years left to write anything that matters, to leave something timeless behind to make the world a better place than I found it.
So that’s how I’m setting my compass. I’m 46 years old and this is no age at which to calcify, to conform, to give up or give in. David Bowie was a master of reinvention, fearless creative and cultural exploration.
The only thing he ever did to disappoint me was to get his teeth capped.
I’m not going to worry about how much more Bowie had accomplished by the time he was my age because I’m not him. I’ll just let him continue to light the way to truth for me.
I’m 46, not dead.
I’m 46, the perfect age for a new skin, a fresh thought, a deeper voice.
Thought while shopping at Trader Joe’s: Everyone should thank me for not wearing tights as “pants”.
Thought while stopping at a stop sign a half a block from my house: I don’t want to be one of those people who die on their birthday.
Back on the repeat track: Life is not life if it alters with alteration… (remember that old brain tick?)*
While sitting alone at La Rosa I “accidentally” listened to the conversation at a table near me and thought: That man is uncomfortable and feels this place is a little out of his league but he wants to impress his date and is interrogating the waitress like a policeman.**
Heard at the table behind Max and me at Adele’s: “I’ve killed all my boyfriends” She drank chablis, reeked of hard living, and wore a workman’s hat with metal studs in it.
So today I’m 44 years old. I don’t have that much to say about the age itself. I don’t have any particular feelings about the number 44. Wait, no, I do. 44 is a pretty nice looking number. Very crisp. Very sharp. 44 needs to wear ghillie brogues. Good thing I already own a pair. 44 begs for an ascot or diamonds. Now that I’m really looking at it – 44 is a pretty shiny number. 43 was much softer and home-bound and gut-spilling. 43 was all about the knits and the sweaters and pyjamas. 43 sleeps in but 44 is up at the crack of dawn. 43 wears slippers to the grocery store and 44 makes fun of it.
This is the year to get out the kinks, sharpen focus, tighten routines, power down and then power the fucking hell UP and UP and UP. This is the year to establish a new rhythm and reclaim so much lost highway. This is the year to punch holes in old lies and wear boss sunglasses.
There’s still time to die today.
*No? It’s a misquote of Shakespeare that my head repeats over and over and over and over sometimes. Or sometimes it just pops up randomly. I think the frequency with which my brain burps this one up is indication of how distressed it is.
**La Rosa isn’t fancy. I don’t feel comfortable at fancy places. But this guy was more of an Outback dude who orders onion flowers and who balks at the idea that the world has over 100 varieties of tequilas and La Rosa has them ALL.