Friday, November 13, 2009

The Clock is Ticking

I'm taking a deep breath as the last hours, last minutes of my fifties slip away. For some reason, it feels both melancholy and surprisingly hopeful -- an occasion worth observing.

Our lovemaking last night was something special -- the connection between two old dogs -- I'd like to say, two sweet old dogs, who know each other very well and have been through some rough times and come through a little bit scarred, but with our gratitude and humor sharp in equal measures. We took a shower together, gently soaping each other up, well aware of our flaws and the niches, aches, wrinkles, bumps and lumps of the bodies we still manage to love. Because these are the bodies we have. And they still ache with surprising desire -- earthy and persistent -- more than you'd think, really, for a couple of old dogs.

I'm now the oldest woman my husband has ever made love to -- by many years, actually -- and he claims that he's looking forward to a continued erotic life with a woman in her sixties. With THIS woman in her sixties. This is, to be sure, uncharted territory for us both.

And today, a long walk through the neighborhood, and I found myself saying, "this is the last walk I'll take in my fifties" and now it's getting ridiculous -- this is the last blog I'll write in my fifties, this is the last cup of herb tea I'll drink in my fifties, this is the last time I'll pee in my fifties, this is the last time....okay, I'll stop now.

Curled in spoons after lovemaking last night, we talked into the almost dark, golden light of two vanilla candles, about how getting old requires finesse. The fear always lurks, a sharp-horned little gremlin -- the inevitable end ahead and god knows what will come between now and then. So we pledged to be happy, to choose to be happy. To not die until we die.

So, here in the last 170 minutes of my fifties, I say, "I'm happy." I am happier tonight by far than when I turned 30, and 40, and 50. I'm proud of that. And relieved -- that my life has taken me to this happier place. Tomorrow, when I'm 60, I'll get up with my husband and pet my cats and go to breakfast at my favorite spot and wander around at the Farmers Market and get together with our friend Teddy and hang out and gossip and dish about UM politics and the sorry state of the world, and tomorrow night Ted and I will go out to dinner together and then to "Hair," a frivolous little trip into nostalgia and we'll come home and find our way back into our happy bed and life will go on, as joyfully and for as long as Fate permits. And so tonight I breathe deeply, from the diaphragm, composing myself, and tuck away, at least for now,l the fear.

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