Sixty-nine. I remember the first time I pondered the mysterious, supposed sex thing that was sixty-nine while my friend Bob Young and I were on the Breton Downs Elementary School playground. We were sitting in one of those huge cement cylinders that were meant for sewage systems, that some bright light thought might also be a fun thing for kids to climb on. “Hey, why don’t we put some of those crappy sewer pipes on the playground?”
It was recess and we were waiting for some sixth-grader to tell us the secret of sixty-nine. My older brother Sandy had the number written on the covers of all his high school text books and would just laugh at me when I’d ask him what it was, so I knew it was something forbidden but important. So we had to opt for a somewhat lesser expert, some older elementary kid who told us he was well-versed in older kid stuff. Back then, all faith was placed in older kids to know how the world worked and all hope placed on them to share it with runts like us who knew nothing. Of course, whatever explanation he gave us about the circle part of one number being at the top and the circle part of the other number being on the bottom did nothing to answer the hidden mystery, so we remained clueless. Which was pretty much the state all elementary school kids lived in back then.
So why am I mentioning this now? Because in the next week or so, I will be turning that magical age. Sixty-nine. Yep, 69. With one circle on top and the other on the bottom. Which is somewhat relevant to the topsey-turvey reality that comes with the fast-approaching elder years of our lives, when being on top of the world one day can be immediately followed by an untimely tumble to the bottom.
So this is the beginning of the Elder Chronicles, my misguided attempt to capture some of the more interesting (hopefully) and unexpected elements of what it’s like for a Boomer to creep ever-so-quickly into the latter days of their lives. It will be interspersed (also hopefully) with past (mis)adventures because I’m getting older and these memories keep popping into my head, so I might as well inflict them on you as well. And because that’s what I want to do.
Now, I am absolutely certain that most people could give absolutely zero fucks about what should clearly be an inherently dull subject. And to be honest, it probably wouldn’t interest me either. But who cares? This is the fucking internet and it doesn’t matter who wants to read it. Hell, I’ve spent the last year or so writing and publishing two books (okay, graphic verses) and only three people have bought them so far. But I still had fun writing them and that’s what counts. And, hey, it’s about as hard to publish a book nowadays as it is to buy a can of baby formula (oops, too soon?). Plus, it’s something my kids and grandkids and whoever pops up on some future branch of the family tree might enjoy. Hey, wouldn’t it be fun to find a diary of your great great great grandfather using the f-word to describe his days with Herman Melville drinking grog in the bars of Nantucket?
Whatever happens will be fun for me, and I think I can make it funny (and maybe even insightful) enough for others to enjoy. It doesn’t matter. Who knows?