Younger than yesterday
So now I’m officially old. Or at least I am if I go into Denny’s, and I can get the senior discount, or into certain thrift stores. And apparently there are condos that offer a certain number of flats to people over 55, so the builders can qualify for government funds or something.
Anyway, March 21. My mum always used to bake me a leg of lamb with browned potatoes and mint sauce, followed by a Boston cream pie. She’s been gone for seven years now, and she forgot how to cook a few years before that. And somewhere along the line I became a vegetarian, but lamb still sounds pretty good. It was my favorite meat, and I always had a hankering for tabouleh and falafel and unleavened bread, so maybe I’m a reincarnated Middle Easterner. Or maybe it was just growing up in Stockton with access to Lebanese food.
Shit, I dunno. I’m old. You kids can get off my lawn. I’d tell you to turn it down, but you already did. You’re going out to thrift stores and coming back with Crosby, Stills & Nash records. What the fuck? Quit being such pussies and put some Stooges or MC5 or Albert Ayler on and crank it loud and piss somebody off. I had someone tell me that Toto was cool the other day, and these guys I know were actually discussing a Christopher Cross record.
Which is, where I come from, really and seriously fucked up.
I’m gonna ramble. You know, when I was in my 20s and I worked at Tower Records, in retrospect, I could have banged my way through well over half the thirtysomething dee-vor-cees sho used to come through the store. They were totally hitting on me all the time, but I was 21 and dumber than a post, apparently; all that quality milfage and cougarhood, and I was too much of a purist to reciprocate, because I was deathly afraid that they would put on a Chuck Mangione record in their post-coital reverie and I’d be too wacked out to deal with uncool tuneage.
But here’s the deal: You know you’re getting older when she puts on a Jewel record after you’ve just horizontally worked your way through several sides of the Marvin Gaye oeuvre one sweet afternoon, and you don’t get all indignant about it; you just go, mm-hmm, sweetie, it’s cool that makes you happy, even if I might be more in the mood for some Thelonious Monk or Reverend Gary Davis.
And another thing: Get all you can when you can, whippersnappers, because one day you’ll be old and sitting in a coffeehouse one Sunday afternoon on the day you turn 55, looking at all the sweet young thangs walking in and going, hmmm, my daughter’s about that age, so I’d better pull my goddamn dirty mind out of the gutter and think like a gentleman. Oh, what the hey, I’m still cursed: Aries Sun in the seventh house; Taurus Mars in the eighth square Aquarius Venus in the fifth, which according to more than one professional astrologer makes me the great lover, but you wouldn’t know it because I’m sitting in this goddamn coffeehouse just thinking about how I’d love to be a player but I’m apparently in some sort of forced retirement in that department. Fifty-five. Fuck me.
I think I’ll just go and listen to some Bach. Ol’ Johann Sebastian Bach was born on this day in 1685, and he’s still my favorite composer. Modest Mussorgsky also shares this birthday, as does Flo Ziegfeld of follies fame, Russ Meyer of big bazooms fame, Gary Oldman, Mathew Broderick, and a host of blues cats. Well, at least Son House, Otis Spann, Solomon Burke and William Clarke, the latter a late, great harp player. And there’s this singer named Cindy Bullens, and not only do we share the same birthday but we were born on the same day. And Roger Hodgson of Supertramp. On the downside, I’ve got Jeffrey Dahmer, Kevin Federline and Rosie O’Donnell, along with James Coco and, shit, I forget. I’m old.
Time to blow this popsicle stand and go do some laundry, maybe later go sit at the bar at Zelda’s by myself because I’m such a misanthropic iconoclast fuckwad and order a pizza and drink a Coke or two and watch some goddamn sports. Fuck, I dunno. Anyone got a better idea? I’m always open to some kind of a good time.
Oh, and did I tell you to get off my goddamn lawn yet? —Jackson Griffith