I’m not even thirty…that’s the joke and it’s the best I can do. A frank and personal look at the hallmarks of middle age, my fourth decade… well, somehow it does not arrive for another two years, but I already feel that I am living that particular dream. Ahem: My fourth decade brings with it the post-post irony of genuinely expressing and feeling my emotions. In essence, (1) no longer caring about embarrassing myself in front of others.
(2) Increasingly I throw tantrums behind the musty, urine-stained veil of my years. Sorry everyone.
(3) My vocabulary has become baroque to the unhinged extreme. It’s not even poetic; it’s just, for want of a simpler word, obfuscating. Yet I still don’t know whether the full stop goes before or after the close bracket at the end of a sentence, which is embarrassing given that I’m supposed to be a writer, not to mention the fact that I can’t even be bothered to google it.
(4) I stolidly drink a single glass of red wine almost every day. No I don’t, but I imagine that it would be true were I more committed to my age… I just haven’t made up the numbers yet. Also I have lost my taste for alcohol, which surprises me, and is a rather suspicious thing to write down, making you think that perhaps I just drink in secret now (I don’t.) That happened age 26 on the nose: it’s not as if my twentysomething self would have scorned me for my limpid stoicism. To rag one’s liver into one’s thirties is definitely not an admirable thing to do… it’s a thing that prompts most people to take a walk (or a bus, but definitely not a car) to their nearest AA meeting.
(5) My artistic output has taken a serious nosedive. And that makes me feel uneasy, because I really felt it defined my corporate brand, even though in the time that I used to draw I now write in it instead. I still cannot write within the lines, but it helps to use a word processor.
(5) I realise that anything is achievable, because I really put a lot of legwork in during my teen years, and I would advise everyone else to do the same, because turning one’s hand to something completely unfamiliar at this age amounts to nothing but an insurmountable feeling of ennui. I know this because I am trying to teach my fingers to play bass, and it is extremely difficult.
(6) I now really appreciate F. Scott Fitzgerald. Especially tender is the night. If you are not thirty you could not possibly understand this. It is a knot that loosens a little each time you read it.
This list is becoming increasingly absurd as I strive to crank/vamp/amp/jack/ramp, the word count. So this is how Charles Dickens felt, she mused. I’m such a ballbag.