Eleven or so minutes ago I became irrevocably sixty eight years old.
Just as I had thought would be the case, I can’t tell any difference from the way I felt this afternoon when I made my multi-pronged walk – multi-pronged because as sometimes happens to me in Paris, I had been going exactly the wrong way for a mile or so (but with enthusiasm; the Tour Eiffel was my constant companion out there ahead of me, and La Tour was, in final fact, the clue that I had needed to tell me of the one-eightydness of my direction of travel) – from Gare Montparnasse to home on Rue Guénégaud.
But there is no point in obfuscating the reality of the heading of this post.
I am now within ten years of the time it took my mother to figure out how to depart this life; within twelve years of my father’s identical discovery. They both made their exit in the same year.
And I was there both times.
Which gave me some perspective that I would not otherwise have had. And that perspective has never left me, never allowed me to cease pondering, pondering, pondering.
Pondering those facts have given me pause. And I have had thoughts.
I have had thoughts about myself. I have had thoughts about, I don’t have a word for it, but – something.
They go like this.
The track is long – the one my parents have recently departed, and the one upon which I still tread.
It is long, but only because it is circular.
The fact that it is circular, and therefore apparently long – apparently long, to the hopelessly optimistic, infinite even to some of that tribe, disguises the limitedness of that track. Seventy eight and eighty are numbers of laps on the track that I am fast approaching.
So introspection reigns supreme on this early morning of the day my mother and I first got to know each other.
And it is so hard to realize that the Fourth birthday party that I recounted in Screen Saver can possibly be sixty four years previous to today.
It is so hard to believe that time can implode, that time can explode, that time can do the things that time can do with the seasons, and the chestnuts, and the recycling and – just all of the sounds and sights and smells and feelings that comprise a life.
But then that is what Screen Saver is all about.