Older and wiser?

I’m bigger than I was 15 years ago, and I have a few grey hairs I never had then. I don’t look much different, and if I think any different it’s in the shades of grey rather than the blacks and whites. By and large then I’m remarkably unchanged, except in one aspect where my age has begun to catch up with me.

I could party for days on end when I was young. Sometimes I did. Later still, and even as recently as a few years back, I was surprisingly resilient. Travelling I would throw myself into the fray and go to bed each night weary, only to wake up the following day perfectly refreshed. Late nights and hard living were harder to shrug, but not insurmountably so. I can recall my surprise at backing up from one big night to the next, and feeling a kind of superior pride at the fact. That days though might be gone finally. It had to happen.

I spent most of the day yesterday lying on my couch. I did not feel bad so much as leaden. I had no desire to do much, to talk, to read, even to watch TV, the easiest option on offer. I felt like sleep and once or twice I nodded off. Above all I felt very slow.

In a way it’s surprising I did not feel more adverse. The previous 24 hours had been big. I had gone to my mum’s – out of hospital that morning – where I cooked up a barbecue for her, for my step-sister and her kids, and for Donna. A miscalculation by mum meant we didn’t eat until near 3.30, by which time I’d had a glass of white wine, a glass of bubbles, and was halfway through a bottle of red I was to consume all by myself.

I got home at about 6.30. Donna was with me. I’d been invited out for dinner in South Melbourne and, knowing that I would drink further, I asked Donna along so that  could get a ride. I changed my clothes and we were gone again by 7.

Had a great night as it turned out. Met up with JV and Beccy, as well as a few friends of his I knew well enough to nod to. We had steak, the boys a beer, a couple of bottles of red, a bottle of sticky, a glass of Frangelico (in with the Affogato), and a PX to finish it off.

I was in good form. I knew it from the moment I walked in the door. I sat in the centre of the table with everybody to one side or the other of me. I was happy to set the tone, to initiate conversation, to ask the questions that had the whole table laughing on and speculating about for hours to come. I involved the waitress, a friendly, willing girl who probably looked upon us as a fun group. Even the guy behind the bar overhearing our conversation joined in the laughter.

I guess we left there at about 12.30, my one regret being that I didn’t follow-up on the waitress. I thought about it, she was fun and seemed into me, and I think would have happily agreed to catch up further. I sort of regret that I didn’t now, not because she was so alluring (though she was very pleasant), but because I guess I feel like I should take advantage of those opportunities. If I can, I should. I’ve enjoyed a lot over the years, but I’ve also left a lot on the table.

The night going so well we went back to somebody’s house in St Kilda for afters. There we drank bubbles again and scotch while the girls had Baileys. We played YouTube videos of the songs we remembered from out youth (from Isn’t it Time? and Jesse’s Girl to the Radiators singing Gimme Head), our choices applauded as people sung along, or loudly decried. That was great fun too, and we didn’t leave until nearly 4am, and it was not until after 4.30 that I was safely in bed.

Many times before I’d have slept in until I was ready to wake-up. Dogs are like kids though in that regard, they want and expect attention by a certain time, and so Rigby was snuggling into me with a keen eye waiting to be fed. Then the phone rang. I guess I had about 5 hours sleep, maybe less.

That’s the story then. I guess I am getting old in ways, but that’s ok. As long as I can still have as much fun as I ever have there’s no real cause for complaint.


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