Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ancient History

I live in a city obsessed with history: Washington, DC is, in many ways, entirely focused on preserving it, interpreting it, making it, and sometimes even rewriting it. It's strange, though: The history we focus on here only goes back, at maximum, 400 years. When I was living in London, I was constantly overwhelmed by just how old everything there was. And that was nothing too -- when I was in Jerusalem, everything was even older. All that history makes me feel somewhat comforted as I'm heading into another birthday.

The years that end in zeroes and fives are the most stressful. And this time, I'm about to be in another age bracket -- the victim of an unwarranted demographic shift. All of a sudden, I am less valuable to advertisers. But I feel so young -- except when I look at the gray hairs, or when I hear my back and my knees crack and creak when I get up in the morning, or when I realize that some of the people I knew in high school now have teenage children. How did this happen? And, more importantly, how did it all pass me by? When did I become middle-aged? It seems like I was just having my mid-twenties crisis, but no, I'm far removed from all that and instead, getting closer to a sports car and an inappropriately young lover. (Does that even apply to women?)

I passed by Ford's Theater today -- the place where President Lincoln was shot. All of a sudden, I was brought back to my eighth grade trip, to standing on that very corner, with a cast on my arm and a pink denim jacket. Who was that thirteen year old girl? Where has she gone? What transformation could possibly have turned her into me? How did I possibly get here?


Craig said...

The days feel long, but the years do zoom by.

My wife, who's probably about your age or maybe a smidgen older, told me she wanted a Corvette the other day. I thought surely she was joking, but now I believe that she does, in fact, want a Corvette. I can't decide if that's cool or cheesy or both. And I can't decide if the Corvette indicates an age crisis or if it's just Sally being Sally.

I found my way here from IndieInk a few weeks ago, and I've been very much enjoying reading what you write. That's especially true of your polished prose over at where Dara Writes.

dara said...

I'd say both cool and cheesy -- but understandable. If, out of nowhere, you start feeling "the old" creeping in, zipping down a highway in cute, sporty car with the windows open is probably just what the doctor ordered. Just hope for no speeding tickets.

And thanks for the compliment. I'm just glad someone is reading.