(A chapter in You Have Upset the Balance of the Universe by Being Born, by Dr. Robert MacLean, PhD: http://robertmaclean.blogspot.com/p/you-have-upset-balance-of-universe-by.html)
You turn thirty when you turn twenty-nine. You turn forty when you turn thirty-eight. You turn fifty when you turn forty-seven. The Doctor expects to be sixty by the time he's fifty-six.
Of course it goes by fast.
You are already changing shape. Your neck is shortening. Your shoulders are narrowing. Your flesh is slipping down your chest. The skin on your throat needs ironing. You are not yet gaga, but how will you know?
The whole experiment is failing.
You do everything very slowly now. You concentrate.
Things continue to happen, that's what's really insulting. The young reach new conclusions about beauty. The movie stars in People are caressed by life while you pass your pebbles from pocket to pocket like one of Beckett's wretches.
The Doctor would tell you you're going to get through this but you don't want to get through it! This has gone far enough! Soon, the drawer.
But we cannot altogether hide ourselves in thoughts of our passing. What the soldier fears is not death so much as mutilation. Before what infirmities will you grovel, how grotesque will you have to become before you are granted the mercy of oblivion? (See DEATH.)
Can the God who made the middle finger the longest, who made shit and urine water-soluble but not blood, have permitted this? (See GOD.) This is what you get for relaxing with the given.
You sit there hunched, palsied, impotent, trying to spend all your thoughts, get it over, but the stream is endless. Are you talking to yourself?
The whole thing is inconvenient.
At least you have learned not to appropriate the future to yourself. You have that poise.
Go out and be soothed by a movie or something. Stop bothering everybody.
Age is a club. Find somebody with more or less the same mileage and compare symptoms. Don't just witness magic! Be it! Age is passion (see PASSION), otherwise it's entirely pointless.
You have always been half one thing, half another--half earth, half sky--it's just that now the ratio is more like one to two. The soul is sticking up out of you like a hardon. Life is a delightful surprise!
Housewives, you can buck the old fart up by encouraging him to think of his leathery carcass as been-through-it-all glamorous. Jaded-but-hanging-in. You never know your luck till the ball stops rolling. It all depends on how you sell it, tell him. You may even get some action(see SEXUAL TECHNIQUES).
Guys, the women in our lives have not stopped wanting it. They're still not sure what it is, many of them, but they do know they want it. The marital regime is once a day (see LOVE, INTERIM), even if it's only telling them. Any old state of grace, what the hell.
The Doctor isn't going to complicate your ignorance with some kind of theory but he would like to point out that your experience here, in the sense of, you know, life, is open-ended (see SELF-IMAGE, YOUR). To try to reduce it to a hieroglyph may not give you the kind of looseness you need to negotiate the turns.
It doesn't matter if it's taken you your whole life to find out how to do things. It's always present time, which is what keeps your chances fresh. And it's not over yet.