ken is gonna turn 74.
the good news is that he’s here, (actually, right now, this very minute cuddled up next to me) and turning 74 in January; loving his life, enjoying every second. he’s so very good at that. he loves his life. like to the fucking hilt.
the bad news is that for me, he’s turning 74.
and that scares the shit out of me.
scares me so very much.
i know, i know … 70 is the new 50, the new sexy, the new levi’s, the new iPad, the new GE, the new gloria gaynor disco hit.
it’s not as old as it used to be, it’s all in the attitude, it’s just a number… i get it. I GET IT. i do.
but actually, truthfully, i don’t get it.
i’m trying desperately to get it.
i’m trying to embrace it, go with it. be joyous.
like the other day when he backed into a parked car, he didn’t look where he was going. i said, “honey, baby, uh oh whatdya think?” he said, “blindspot.” I immediately went straight to – thought - blindspot? bullshit…dementia.
and when he forgot to close and lock the front door, i said, “hey moo-moo, you left the door open.” he said, “hey, shit happens.” i immediately thought, huh, shit happens… incontinence. Incontinence happens.
and when the knob on the clothes dryer got all fucked up, and it stopped working and he decided a good way to attack this problem, was, well, to attack the problem with a screwdriver. i said, “baby-doll, why’d you attack the dryer knob with a screwdriver?” he said, “you know, uh, i was, uh, stoned.” “huh, i thought, right, stoned?
memory loss. i thought memory fucking loss. i thought, assisted living.
and so, these little things, small things, these new small things, the new 70 is just a number small things, scare me.
and talking about it helps me.
writing about it.
because, when i get scared, i retreat.
and when i retreat, i go to my room,
and when i go to my room, i go deep inside my head.
and when i’m deep inside my head the chatter is about dementia, and alzheimer’s, and incontinence, and i envision wheel chairs and ramps, and dribbling and more incontinence, and then i think, oh my god… oh my frickin’ god, my future is HERE, HOLY SHIT, I AM HERE NOW.
i think my mom. i think her decline and how absolutely cruel it was, cruel & unforgiving. i think one minute she was buying new lipstick in her favorite shade, and then the next minute she was using a purple sharpie pen to fill in her eyebrows.
and I gotta be honest, being in the NOW, living in THIS MOMENT is virtually impossible for me. i can recall being in the NOW once in my entire life and that had to do with a pap smear.
but, i don’t wanna retreat. i wanna be present. so, i leave my room, and all that nasty bad chatter behind, and i walk into the living room where ken is cozy: sitting in front of a lovely fire, reading the NY Times and I look at him and he looks at me, and i look at him… and i slide in, cuddle up, right next to him on the couch, and he laughs.
a gorgeous, hearty, sexy laugh. a ken laugh.
and in that moment, the NOW moment, what i’m scared of … is losing ken. this ken. my ken.
because i have news for you, a hot flash…when he says to me, “hey you, i’m not join’ anywhere, you’re stuck with me forever,” i think – but don’t say, the words don’t come out of my mouth: forever isn’t long enough.