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Let me tell you what sucks about getting old.


Wisdom…equals callousness.  Let me explain.  Once upon a time I was in love.  Madly in love.  The kind of love where every little thing that goes wrong is like a knife in your gut.  Every second you are apart seems like a wasted lifetime.  True love ..The kind you get once in a lifetime …that’s what they say anyhow. I’ve been in love five times.  Maybe it’s the Sicilian in me, we’re a passionate people, or the Russian in me …we like to keep warm in the winter.  None the less, the “in love” I speak of today was pure 100% true love that poets musicians and painters struggle their whole lives trying to convey the beauty of in their respective mediums.  And for over a decade now I have had one of her hair combs.  Some of you guys out there who never dated a black girl might not know what a hair comb is…it essentially does the same thing as a barrette. When you have an Afro you don’t need the barrette to clip…you just have a short long comb that sticks in your hair and keeps it in place.  Anyhow. I have kept one of her hair combs for all this time.  And I would stumble upon it and as soon as I’d touch it I’d feel a crackle of electricity and I’d go back to a different time.  I’d smell her hair, feel her skin, hear her laugh, and it would hurt.  I would feel every thing that was wonderful about her and I and know every mistake we both made all at once.  I would get a knot in my gut…and I would put the hair comb back.


I found that comb the other day…and I didn’t feel anything.   Because I am old…and wise and I have been in love five times and know I’ll probably fall in love again and survive.  It was just another object that I’ve been holding onto, like my old baseball glove and my pinewood derby trophy…artifacts of previous triumphs that have no bearing on where I am and where I am going.  That….sucks.  I used to think the hurting was bad…the awful painful heartache….but now I realize that the real pain is when you understand that life will always up the ante…always trump the previous heartache.  Until eventually that first beautiful heartache that seemed so dire and profound years ago only sticks with you because it was the first.


I’d like to go back in time holding her the middle of a park until dawn because we had nowhere else to go and feel that ache of watching her go up the stairs.  I’d like to feel that again.  But I can’t, too many other heartaches came after and are on the horizon.  Perspective has been and will continue to be blurred. All I have left is a hair comb…a ten year old hair comb.  I don’t have any other artifact of my love life that is a decade old…and that is the only proof I have that the first time was true love and profound in spite of that the others. And that’s what sucks about getting old.  When I was 21 I thought I knew everything. …And I did. I wish I could talk to that version of me.  I’d tell him…marry her, and knock her up as quickly as possible and get some shitty job. Just hold on and push through all the obstacles.  Then when I’m convinced that version of me is going to do that I’ll leave and laugh manically haha ha ha ha ha ha haaaa…that’ll teach him. That’ll teach that bastard to hog all the fun back in the past, and I’d sit back and wait to fade away like in back to the future …fade away and be replaced by a fat Doug in a dead end job with a bunch of kids who are screwed up who constantly bitches about his wife leaving hair combs in the sink.



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