Friday, January 15, 2010

Older Maybe, But Not So Much Wiser

After 57 years on this planet and having been raised in the home of a crazed shutterbug, I would have thought there would be more images of myself kicking around in the many piles of family pictures from back in the day. There are not many it turns out. Especially not many from that period of my life when I brushed shoulders with famous people often on a daily basis. I found this picture of me at age, oh I guess I must be 24 or 25.

Holding me up in my "cool dude" pose is the first decent truck I ever had the pleasure of driving. Unit #2875, a new at the time White Freightliner leased to SHOWCO, carried me and a multitude of rock and roll gear all over the US and Canada. I had a lot of fun in and out of that truck. I also survived some very scary times in that truck.

I often tell who ever might be interested that of all the senses that can bring back memories the strongest, my sense of smell takes top billing. Smelling coffee brewing always reminds me of my parents seated across from one another at breakfast, each planning that day's assault on the other's sanity. I will smell bread baking and be reminded of when we lived near a huge bakery in Florida for a time. Music is next - Oldies always conjuring up images from my awkward youth. Photographs, well, they don't so much bring back memories as they seem to be more like instant replays that often bring with them no feeling good or bad. Maybe it is their blatant objectivity that robs me of my ability to remember with nuances added to suit my current mood. But I guess it depends on the picture.

When I found this Kodak moment sitting prominent on my wife's dresser (Uh, it's location surprised me, but that is another bowl of shit to stir up). Where was I? Oh yeah. When I found this picture, immediately memories of that time came flooding back. Not so much memories of what I did, who I did them with, or the Bands I hauled, but rather memories of who I was at the time filled my brain and offered a stark contrast to who I have become.

I am sure I am experiencing nothing unique here. It seems logical to think many if not most of us will make comparisons of the then to the now. But for each of us, it seems unique and special I guess. No one can know who I was then and who I am now better than I.

At age 24 I was cocky and sure of myself. At age 57 I am no longer sure enough to be cocky every day like I was back then. At age 24 I had no reason to be cocky, I had not done much yet. At age 57 I am wise enough to know I have nothing to be cocky about.

I look at the young man leaning confident with a deadpan expression on his face and I know what was really going on under that wonderful head of hair that exists now as nothing more than a ghostly reminder of it's thick past. I was the same person I am now. I am just a little wiser now and somewhat clued in about where I will end up in all this.

As the years gather and weigh me down, friends and relatives pass at an ever rising rate. Physical gifts I once took for granted are now appreciated, but only because they are missing in action now. At age 24, I knew all this was coming. I had any number of older role models to pay attention to. But I never once gave the aging gig one moment of my time. At age 24 I was sure I would live forever. At age 57 I am starting to have some doubts.

Keep it 'tween the ditches...................................


David Barber said...

Mike, nice post.

I just think we are who we are. No matter what we do, our lives are just panned out for us. Don't drink and don't smoke and you drop dead at 30 yers old. Drink like a fish and smoke 60 a day and you live to be 80 years old. There isn't anything we can do about it, except enjoy every day that we wake up.

I could drop dead while I'm typing this commmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Kulkuri said...

I guess we all go thru that, young and dumb and full of cum. Then we get older and figure out we ain't going to live forever and start doing things like using the seatbelts.

Randal Graves said...

Now how the hell am I supposed to follow David's punchline?

I love this post, probably 'cause I'm inching ever closer to 40. Yeah, yeah, a spring chicken to some of you folks, but the trappings of old age, whether they be physical or otherwise, are starting to manifest.

Spot on about the power of smell, too bad she doesn't know when to use her powers for good and when for evil.

Beach Bum said...

...raised in the home of a crazed shutterbug, I would have thought there would be more images of myself kicking around in the many piles of family pictures from back in the day. There are not many it turns out.

For the longest time I didn't care at all about taking pictures or being in them. It wasn't until I had kids that I very suddenly had the urge to document every aspect of their lives and mine.

Now that they are somewhat older and have an interest in knowing what daddy looked like from his teens to his thirties I have a Hell of a time finding anything. What pictures I can find come from the shutterbugs in my family who often had to sneak a shot to catch me, which of course means I almost always look crazy or filthy. Nice stuff for my kids to base memories one.

David Barber said...

Randal....sorry pal I couldn't resist.

I have actually been thinking more about getting older and I'm only 41, but it seems to have crept up on me. I never used to think about it but now I do. BUT, life's too short to worry. Enjoy everything you have and don't worry about what you haven't got.

I'm now going to dig out our old photos and cry myself to sleep.

sunshine said...

What's that saying? Youth is wasted on the young... :D

I turned 40 last September. I can't believe I'm here! I still feel 25 in some ways. However when I look in the mirror I see the lines around my eyes. I have to wash (dye) my hair more and more often. It take me a "minute" to "get going" in the morning.

Like David said, we can go anytime. All we have is today. As you know.. anyone of us could be snatched away at any time.

Whoever said 'Life is short' wasn't kidding. When you're a kid time seems to drag. When you're an adult, it flies.

I must say Michael, you were quite the hairy hottie back in the day.

P.S. There is an award for you on my blog if you would like it.

Freida Bee, MD said...

Much more than "One Day at a Time" is quite overwhelming to me at this point. I miss my looks at 24, but like who I am much more now, even if, in many ways, that hasn't changed. I'm just more comfortable with who I am as my being such draws closer and closer to an end. Morbid, but suiting since I will be 40 in less than a month. Eeek. It seems like twenty or thirty did then to me now, though-- the ideal age.

Anonymous said...

We all homeward bound.

Different journeys.

Same destination.

Demeur said...

I still look much like I did back then, it must be the portrait in the attic that keeps getting older. mwahahahaha

Dawn on MDI said...

nice vignette. sorry I've been gone so long. glad to see you're keeping on. very nice indeed.

El Cerdo Ignatius said...

Awesome photo, Crum. I may have to dig out some old photos and scan them in myself. But that might just make me a little more depressed about the crows' feet around the eyes, the invading white follicles, the extra 15 pounds.

But hey, what's not to love about getting older? Beats the alternative. Weird how the years get faster and faster, though. I thought 20 to 30 went fast, but 30 to 40 was twice as fast. And I'm about two and a half years past forty now, and it feels like only a month or two has passed.