TO the tiny group people who read my stuff, I apologise. I was slack last week and didn’t write a Dunn & Dusted blog.
It’s not that I’m losing inspiration, it’s just that I’m slowing down in all respects. It’s almost Christmas, I have four children, I’m 41-years-old, and, quite honestly I feel like I’m 103. The worst part of it is, in some circumstances, I look like I’m a 103. You wouldn’t recoil if you saw me in a dark alley but you’d shit yourself if you saw me under fluorescent light.
And look, I’m not going to paint myself as ugly. I’m not. But ageing is a cruel process, and I now have more hair on my back than my head. I also have these strange werewolf-like hairs that sprout from the top of my ears. They’re not a permanent fixture, since I pluck them out as soon as they arrive. But they come over night, some several inches long by morning. They’re coarse and dark and generally – though this may only be coincidence – they sprout when there’s a full moon in the sky.
I certainly haven’t bitten the heads of any live chickens, though I do love poultry in all its forms (especially those honey soy chicken wings cooked on the barbecue).
The short of if it, I’m changing and I don’t know how to make it stop. The Curse of the Werewolf/Old Age is upon me and there’s no magic bullet to put this one to bed. It just rolls on, each joke crueller than the last.
In my day I was an athlete. A really good sprinter, who cleaned up at the school aths carnivals and zone competitions. I never made much of an impact at the state championships, but I was lauded as great within the microcosm of our local world. Anyway, not so long ago I felt a bit nostalgic and thought I’d recapture some of the feeling from those glory days. To this end, I decided I was going to join our local athletics club and start along the comeback trail.
I turned up at training to discover there was some informal competition. Three fit young men were ready to race, with me into the bargain. I stood upon the start line. On my left shoulder was a miniature version of my wife – the angel – , saying, ‘Now, don’t do anything silly, darling.’ On my right shoulder was a miniature version of me – the devil -, saying, ‘You can take these chumps out. Blow them away.’
The starter’s gun exploded and for the first five yards I was leading. I flew from the blocks, a cannonball in lycra. Those silly kids were nothing on me. Moments later – as I strained one hamstring then the other in quick succession – they were past me. I hobbled from the track, not meeting anyone’s eyes. Crossing the carpark was embarrassing, but I managed it. Then I was in my car and home. Goodbye comeback, hello humiliation.
Well, in the end (as they always say) it’s just old age. If I had better hamstrings I’d try to outrun it. As it is, I’m pretty much a stationary target.