Amazon Addie wrote, commenting on a Facebook post about the stark difference in age appearance between me (52) and Tom Hanks (57). The newscast's director, Keith, correctly pointed out that Hanks looks much better, more youthful and vigorous. Addie, ever sweet and kind, correctly made note of the fact that I've probably put more wear and tear on the big block that is my body.
Gnarly, I feel, like a great big tree twisted and nicked by past storms. Gnarly in the rad sense, too, having lived and seen enough to fill a couple-three lives. I may be outwardly scarred but it's been an awesome adventure.
Would I rather be younger? Of course. Getting older is hard. The accumulated wear and tear makes its presence known first thing in the morning, when it kindly reminds me that maybe I should have thought harder before flooring the accelerator and going headfirst over the embankment. But meh, what's a little lower back pain after such a thrilling ride?
Would I rather be stupider? Yes. There really is ignorance in bliss. Sometimes the core burns so hot I feel drops of sweat break out on my forehead and I contemplate doing anything, taking anything, taking everything to cool the reactor. I think too much. It's an occupational hazard and a personal flaw. There is no caveat in this paragraph; thinking too much has not been beneficial to me. It has driven away too many people to count. And it's been hell in my quest to stay wrinkle-free.
Would I rather be more handsome? You bet. Tall, sleeker, hotter — I work in an industry where I am surrounded by beautiful women and handsome men. Sweet Jesus, but it's not easy being plain. Someone once told me their takeaway from being with me was realizing they were hot. Given the way that interlude ended, my takeaway was that I was grotesque, the beast to her beauty, the Hellboy to her Liz Sherman. And me without a Right Hand of Doom.
But none of these things can happen without a time machine, and as I am still puzzling over string theory, the building of the real machine will have to wait. In the meantime I will climb aboard the time machine that works for me right now, the one that takes me to a place where age doesn't matter, where I feel like the best-looking and luckiest guy on the planet, and where I am filled with bliss. Next stop: Dreamland.