My last post (or more specifically, its title) got me thinking about Red Dwarf. And in particular the episode where Rimmer and Lister perform a mind swap. For those of you who don’t know the show, Rimmer is a hologram (cos he’d dead) and gets to borrow Lister’s body for a week on the condition that he puts it through a rigorous training regime to get it back into shape. Rimmer, of course, reneges on the deal and goes on an extravagant orgy of eating and drinking. Lister is less than happy about this and accuses Rimmer of mistreating his body. Rimmer’s answer is that Lister has mistreated his body himself for years... and points out all the little pains, tweaks and twinges that Lister never ever mentions...
Now I’m not, by rule, a hypochondriac. By and large, like Lister, I ignore all but the most insistent messages that my body gives me. Or at least I did when I was younger.
Now that I’m 40 I’m suddenly becoming more aware of them. The slight headaches that come and go. The twinges in my guts. The aches in my elbows and my thumbs. The low level but nevertheless ever-present back pain.
Lying awake in the morning I can’t help but think my body is giving up whispering its messages to me and is now beginning to shout them at me through a loudhailer.
Are these all signs of my inescapable mortality?
I’ve never been one to dwell overlong on death and existentialism but I guess with my granddad grumbling his way through Death’s waiting room and a spritely 2 year old running around my home my thoughts are, quite naturally, being prodded into contemplating the great mysteries of life.
The last ten years of my life have flown by like they’re nothing at all – which is a little worrying for the next ten which will take me up to (gulp) the big 50. I’m already slowing down. I can feel it. My powers of recovery are weaker. I feel more tired more easily. I’m starting to really enjoy eating my greens. And, worst of all, I have stopped buying music.
I am becoming – slowly but perceptibly – old aged.
Mentally I still consider myself the same curmudgeonly, mean spirited grump that I was in my twenties... but physically I’m now less inclined to chase after ruffians on bicycles and throw my shoes at them for being cheeky. The spirit is willing, etc, etc.
I’m becoming less inclined to move with the times. I’m losing my grip on popular culture. Musically I’m still in the 80’s and cannot deny the parallel with my parents who were stuck in the 60’s when I was getting into Killing Joke and Fields Of The Nephilim. New music is beginning to pass me by.
Of course there other factors at work here. Less disposable income. Less space in the house to store my already humungous record and CD collection. But is this how it starts? Will I start falling in love with old black and white films purely because they remind me of my childhood? I can’t deny I’m already tempted to buy retro kid’s programmes on DVD for Tom (Bagpuss, Chorlton & The Wheelies, Pipkins).Of course I realize this is not on. He needs to be experiencing the same reference points as his peers not those of his father.
So am I merely wanting to regress to my own childhood to satisfy my own craving for what was once familiar? Isn’t this one of the signs of old age? Seeking to abandon the confusing present for the safety of the rose tinted past?
But maybe I’m looking at all these twinges and aches the wrong way. Maybe they are protests? A wake up call to get with the programme? To smell the New World coffee? A rallying cry to deliver me from the abyss of entropy?
Hmm. You know, I think that’s how I’m going to look at them.
A call to arms. A war cry raged against the dying of the light...
My 40’s are going to be my new 20’s. Old age can wait a little bit longer.
I is feelin’ the need to get me some bling, innit?