Going Down Hard /The Aging of the Boomers: Part one – Artificial Paradise

This series of undetermined length shall be part story, part essay, part philosophy and a smattering of my observations regarding the flower-power generation and its seemingly overnight process of aging. 

Granola one day: Grandpa the next. 

If you were born between 1940 and 1950, there may be something here for you.  If you were born before or after these decades, there might be something here for you.

I would also like to mention that since the ‘Devil’s Violin’ blog began over six months ago many persons have been appreciative of the contents, and the thanks must also go to Chi-Li Wong from Los Angeles who I have been extremely fortunate to have as my research assistant and blog poster.  I could not continue these projects without her valuable assistance and unfailing energy. 

The kitchen clock showed 9:57.  Soon it would be ten.  …Time for senior citizens like myself to be in bed praying for a good nights’ sleep.  Those days of hanging out in bars until one in the morning then coming home, smoking a joint, downing two more shots of whisky and diving into an old Bogart movie on television until 4:00 am—those days are over: aren’t they?

There’s our problem. 

The desires drawn upon to feed those moments of jubilant excess still persist. 

Age does not change the interior of a person. 

That one realization can ruin everything. 

The body becomes feeble, limbs uncooperative, digestion intolerable in its pace.  And then there are those constantly occurring breathless moments experienced during the day when the slightest physical effort reminds you that death is inching closer.

The continual awareness of your physical decline haunts your every thought.   

But still, inside, you are anything but that mass of decaying flesh which stares back at you in the bathroom mirror. 

All of your hopes are pinned on the premise that one night without premeditation you will leave your apartment, go to a bar downtown, drink yourself silly, laugh with strangers over nothing then return home to smoke a joint, do more shots of whiskey and watch “The Maltese Falcon” until the sun rises.    

These are the thoughts I have as the ambulance speeds down 5th avenue, sirens roaring at 10:30 with me strapped to a gurney.  Two nervous paramedics who seem, to my failing eyes, to be about fifteen years of age, smile nervously at me brandishing the ‘thumbs-up” sign. 

Who the hell do they think they’re kidding?

I don’t have the slightest idea what happened.  One moment I was looking at the clock in the kitchen, just before ten, and now I’m racing to the emergency entrance of Mercy hospital with the Gerber baby twins overseeing my well being.

The ambulance pulls into a driveway lit up by intense yellow lights; the ones that are supposed to ward off moths yet when you look directly at the bulbs they are engulfed by those grey-winged creatures. 

Why is everything backwards? 

Why do they have to put “…do not take internally” on boxes of products which are marked poison?     
When did they start doing that? 

When I was growing up in the 1950’s, people didn’t have to be warned to not drink from a bottle of rat poison, or not to stick their head inside a plastic bag and seal it around their neck!

No, no-no…I’m sorry this just won’t do. 

It’s moments like this when you realize that life, after a certain year, varying from individual to individual is pointless.   The ‘twins’ shot me up with something before we left the apartment in the ambulance. 

I’m probably going to die, but I feel great. 

Just like coming home from a bar at one in the morning, smoking a joint and….

(© Copyright 2014 - Art Johnson – Monaco)

No comments:

Post a Comment