Ah, the afternoon sounds.
Crickets. Lawnmowers. Baby monitor.
It’s nice to be back home; plus DC’s weather is so incredibly nice right now, I wish it could be August forever.
And in a way, if it were August forever, I would not turn thirty and I’d stay twenty-nine forever. And I wouldn’t have to deal with the passage of time, and getting a year older. And not being in my twenties anymore.
I know that time stops for no one. Herr Meow is already starting to sprout his first tooth and he now standy-wobbles very efficiently, trying to stand on his own without holding on to anything. He is going to be nine months old days before my birthday, and I can hardly believe it.
I can hardly believe that a year ago I was pregnant, and now I see this little boy becoming a little person with his likes and dislikes and such a wonderful personality. And I am glad time is going by: every day has new surprises –like yesterday’s spontaneous stream of “Mamamamamamamamamammamamamamamama!” that just made my stomach flip– and new challenges and new things that become just plain easier because suddenly he understands that he can communicate.
But there are those moments when I realize that I’ve lived three decades and that things that seemed so-very-important –like MTV, which refuses to grow up– are really shallow and banal. And, holy fzzuck, are they tacky. Did I ever really enjoy watching really dumb people fighting and having sex in a fabulous house? C’mon. I’d rather watch really dumb washed-up celebrities fighting and having sex in a fabulous house. See? VH1 gets me. And VH1 knows what I’m talking about: now almost half of its programming is devoted to that delicious time capsule nostalgia, as if you were going through your old school boxes and found things long-lost. And of course, it’s better than that because they recycle Last Comic Standing contestants.
But this morning I made a doctor’s appointment for September 5th and I realized that I’ll have a doctor’s appointment when I’m thirty. I get to write that in the little sheet they give you. I get to answer, “thirty” to the age question.
And every time I see the ads for House M.D.‘s season premiere I end up asking myself something that goes like, “Did I really enjoy the last episode of House? Because that’s the last new episode I ever saw while still in my twenties.”
I’ll be thirty soon.
Elvis died 29 years ago today, at age 42.
Forty-two is very young. And that is only 12 years older than I’ll be on Labor Day.
Did Elvis truly enjoy his life? Did he feel he made a difference? Did he truly enjoy his good looks and his iconic popularity?
Was he a good Christian man, like this one nice lady told us of a local hero when we stopped in a South Carolina rest stop? Because that seems to be something that matters very much in the South. But does that honestly really matter? Is Christianity a trait or an outstanding personality feature like good teeth or nice manners?
Elvis died at forty-two and that suddenly sounds tragically young to die of indigestion mixed with pills, but if the United States Postal Service taught us anything it was probably best that we didn’t get to see him age any more. And I mean, how dare they? OLD Elvis? OLD??? He was just forty-two when he did that concert!
Elvis was not ready to move on to the next phase of his life, I think, no matter how much people loved him.
No matter how many people visit Graceland, he is still dead. Frozen in an unflattering point of his life, bloated and forty-two.
Which is not so far away from thirty. Not anymore. And it never was, was it? Elvis was not old, and he was not washed up but somehow because he was forty-two there was that feeling about him. Or was it the weight problem?
Which is why I’m going to slather on the Lancôme night cream (yes, it DOES say “first signs of aging”– hate, hate, hate the sun) and wash my face every night and I’m not going to eat fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches.
Oh God… I need to diet.
And I didn’t just pay attention to a word I wrote, huh.