I finally saw Dallas Buyers Club as a birthday day. We missed the first few minutes of the movie while getting lost in Palm Beach. I parked for free at the Hyatt lot, a good find but it was four long blocks to our destination. I had a great rib dinner with beans and chocolate pecan pie and a blues musician playing mostly sixties covers in the background.
Matthew is not beautiful anymore as a gaunt skinny dude but now he can be taken seriously and he is a mighty good actor. Maybe having children made him grow up or an agent whispered in his ear. His last few roles starting with Mud and Dallas and Wolf and now something I caught on TV with Woody Harrelson, Last Detective. He’s slowly gaining a bit of weight but he will never be a pretty boy again.
It was a great day for me with little spats over my hypiness. “Sparks are coming out of your ass,” says my companion. I’ve lived in Florida for four winters and I don’t always know the exact route to the final destination but to me it is all fun if you are with someone you like and what does it matter? But no. People in retirement seem to be getting more uptight rather than more relaxed. “Don’t walk too fast.” “We’ll miss the start of the movie.” “We’re lost, get the stretcher, I’m out of breath!” The last word of each complaint dragged out into a whine.
Jeez, get over yourself, I thought, you are only in your sixties. Why such a curmudgeon, such a misery? Do we have anything else on the schedule today? Lighten the fuck up. But I roll with the crankiness because I know it will get right soon. I stop teasing her because I know it only makes it worse.
In the end, I put 100% perfect on the day. My friend may say 70% and that’s her choice, not finding everything wonderful just because we are alive. I say why not. We have a choice to see it either way. Laugh or cry, moan or make up a song on the spot about our predicament. Life, after all, is so heavy a burden, we think, we act as if we are the first person to ever be alive. Just do good, be kind and laugh the rest away. Especially with your last twenty years.
(Written two days after the author turned sixty-eight)