Recently, my life has been struck by multiple tragedies.
Gas prices are well-positioned to break the sky diving altitude record.
I don’t get to sleep in anymore because my young kiddos are earlier risers.
A fourth, potential tragedy, given my alleged children’s polar opposite behavior when it comes to mornings, is that they may not be mine.
(I’m not sure which I prefer – that I produced humans who enjoy being up before the sun, or that I didn’t produce the humans I am raising as my own. So far, it’s a toss-up.)
While being deprived of my morning ritual of not waking up is by far the most unendurable of these tragedies, the dying thing is a not-so-distant second.
And as someone recently forced by circumstances to buy a mini van, let me tell you, watching the dollars spent spin by while gassing that thing up is a special form of financial torture that makes you wish for death.
This has left me feeling a bit conflicted.
Yes, death offers a very tempting escape from the bankruptcy-inducing cost of keeping my toddler transport vehicle operational.
But only for me. Not so much for the surviving missus. Or my kids, for that matter.
So while expensive gas should make death seem like a viable option for me, it doesn’t.
It turns out this dying thing has got me kinda freaked out.
It’s not fair. I was plodding along in life, reasonably happy and utterly oblivious to my impending bankruptcy/mortality, when BOOM!
An awakening event that revealed my horrible fate to me.
Actually, three birthdays in rapid succession.
The missus, a friend, and I all flipped our annual odometers this month.
And unlike cars, you can’t roll back your personal odometer.
Believe me, I tried. But turns out biological clocks are way more complicated than the cable and count rotation systems employed by automobile odometers, and can’t be reset no matter how much ether you drink or scalpels you employ.
(Pro tip: don’t try to operate on yourself while under the influence of ether. At best, you get some interesting scars. At best.)
This year, my birthday was one of those ‘landmark’ birthdays, the kind that greeting card publishers print special cards for. Like, an entire row in the store card section special cards.
This officially means I am old.
Not ancient like my parents, thankfully, but still, old.
And running up to that birthday, seeing it sitting there like a panther on a large boulder, licking its chops while waiting for me to get close enough to pounce, all I could think about was the fact that I’m old.
In other words, dying.
Yes, if this aging thing isn’t stopped, it will eventually kill me.
Don’t snort derisively. It’ll eventually kill you too.
Sadly, there’s no known cure at this time, though I’ve heard about some interesting treatments that can allegedly prolong your life:
- Cryogenics, where they freeze you until a cure is found for aging. The only drawbacks I’ve come across so far in my research is that people with an intolerance for cold aren’t good candidates, and that Norwegians, used to intemperate climates, are immune to the process (and its benefits).Swedes and the Dutch, inexplicably, are not immune.
- Organ replacement, where they replace your organs with those of young Chinese dissidents. If you have the money and the connections, I hear they can keep you going an extra forty, fifty years. Maybe enough time to find a proper cure.
- A regular regimen of exercise and healthy eating. This strikes me as the least promising of the studies I’ve come across, but if I get desperate enough, I may try it.
For now, I’m watching the clock tick by as I listen to the news, waiting to hear about a mortality treatment breakthrough. And keeping an eye on my 401k, hoping it performs well enough to finance my organ replacement plans.
So far, it isn’t.
Which is a tragedy.
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Marlowe and the Spacewoman: