Tuesday, June 22, 2010

These wrinkles masterfully disguise the youthful boy below

I turn 40 this week.

It's neither with a sense of despair nor a sense of dread that I face the beginnings of my fifth decade on this planet; however, I must admit to a certain disbelief.

I mean: have 40 years really gone by since I looked like this?

Not to mention the fact that I still have quite vivid memories of being this little boy, at about the time of the Watergate hearings.

Thanks to a thoughtful gift from a sibling, I now have a larger collection of photos from what we might call The Awkward Years (also known as the 1980s), but I'll be keeping those to myself for now.

I can't imagine I'm the only one who looks at past pictures of oneself and struggles to believe that it's really them in there.

On the other hand, I look at something like the following, and remember almost exactly what it felt like.

A scraped knee, some unflattering sandals and a tricycle several sizes too small: no wonder that little guy seems to be having an insight into the absurdity of existence.

Anyway: onward!

Title reference:

Death Cab for Cutie, 'Brothers on a Hotel Bed'

[UPDATE] While we're getting all nostalgic and all (and maybe picking up on Francis's 'heart still in Illinois' comment), here's Wilco, missing the innocence they've known.

Wilco, 'Heavy Metal Drummer'


Francis Sedgemore said...

Commiserations, old chap! I turned 40 six years ago, and have yet to come to terms with "the fucking aging process", and my current decrepitude.

John Carter Wood said...

'...my current decrepitude.'

Uh, uh, Francis, I've seen you too often recently to believe that.

How many kilometers a week do you cycle?

If that's mid-40s decrepitude, then bring it on.

Now, about my back and wrist pains....nah, I'll spare you all the moaning.

Francis Sedgemore said...

"How many kilometers a week do you cycle?"

None; I cycle in excess of 300 kilometres per week. Spectacles, testicles, wallet and watch in Hessen, heart still in Illinois. :-) Do you still have the trike?

Don't talk to me about bad backs. Mine is currently giving me right gyp!

John Carter Wood said...

Spectacles, testicles, wallet and watch in Hessen, heart still in Illinois. :-)

Well, all of the above is in Rheinland-Palatinate, since we're being precise. (Though that's hardly as euphonious as 'Hessen'.)

And the heart's there too: just not the spell-checker

The trike, along with many other such things, were passed along to nieces and nephews.

Dale said...

Forty is the new dead, but that's not entirely bad news -- so little is expected of corpses, I find.

Congratulations, or something like that.

The Wife said...

The Wilco update is for me!!!

I don't think 40 is all that bad, though, really. I look at our students and feel I never want to get back to them days of post-adolescent angst.

The Wife said...

BTW, Francis: Pedant!

John Carter Wood said...

I'm with you, m'dear: middle-aged rage beats post-adolescent angst any day!

headbang8 said...

Looking at the first picture, it's safe to assume that you made the trip home from the hospital on your mother's unseatbelted lap, rather than in an approved child restraint? Ah, for simpler times!

Congratulations, comiserations, libations...

John Carter Wood said...

Thanks very much much HB.

Indeed, I still well recall a time when not wearing a seatbelt was normal.

Seems like another world.