I passed my neighbor Tierney on my way up the five flights to my apartment earlier. She was headed to a play, then meeting a blind date. “The plot,” she said, “sickens.”
In the book of my life, tonight’s chapter is fairly brief. The dishwasher is running downstairs. MTV’s “Making The Band” is on the TV. REM’s “Leaving New York” is playing on iTunes. And I fully expect to be in bed within fifteen minutes.
Rock and roll, baby.
“You doin’ the half with me on Sunday?” my brother casually asked.
Eek. “Half” is short hand for half marathon. As in 13.1 miles. As in, um, tomorrow morning. So, let me tell you about the current state of my body.
My hips ache every morning when I wake up. I’m told by my sports doc that it’s my IT band. “Tight as a drum,” he says. So every morning I stretch. And every afternoon I stretch. And most evenings, I stretch.
My left ankle aches. I sprained it years ago stepping off stage at CBGBs. True story. I saved my guitar, but spent the next morning in the hospital (the tequila strategy from the night before having failed). Now, most mornings, it won’t extend past a certain point unless I crack it like a knuckle. Only louder.
Lately, my calves have been aching. So I stretch them too.
Did I mention that I have to roll my neck for like three minutes every morning?
People! I’m 33-years-old!
I got an email today from last weekend’s gracious hostess. It was a great, sweet email saying, in essence, nice to meet you, love your blog, you’re welcome any time. So I ran to one of colleagues and was like, “Dude, did I write anything incriminating? Did we do anything incriminating? I mean, she opened her home to, like, eleven teenagers!”
“Or … I guess we’re adults, huh?”
It’s kinda’ funny. I’m not sure if it’s an MTV thing, or a New York thing, or a generational thing, or if it’s just me, but I can’t seem to get a handle on how old I am. One minute I feel like I’m sixty, the next I feel like I’m sixteen.
I told another colleague that I had to jet early and rest up for tomorrow’s big race. “I don’t know how you do it,” she said. “You push yourself so hard.” And I’ll admit that, along with emails that say good stuff about my music, that’s about the best thing I can hear. But it’s also kinda’ true, and kinda’ strange, and maybe even kinda’ sick. Like a compulsion. It’s some function of age, and lost time, and wanting to make the most of it now.
I dream about plane crashes a lot. I have for years. Last Thursday morning, just before flying to Jacksonville, I dreampt I was standing in the desert when a huge miltary jet flew overhead, turned on it’s back, and descended, inverted, into the town. It was impossible not to replay that mental video clip in my head as I boarded my flight. “This could be your last,” I thought, half seriously.
Now, I’m pretty sure — as sure as one can be — that I won’t die early. But if I do, I wanna’ have done something. I’m over it being something major, but I wanna’ do something with my time here.
And so, tomorrow morning at 9:00, I’ll be doing something other than sleeping, reading the paper, or drinking coffee. I may be puking somewhere in Central Park, or I may be casually jogging and chatting with my big brother for a few hours. Either way, it’s something. And sometimes something is a pretty cool hand. Scratch that. Something is the only hand.
[Editor’s note: It’s Saturday morning. I’m in my running shoes and tights and such, and I just called my brother to say I’m leaving and he goes, “The race is Sunday morning.” Sweet! I’m going out for a run anyway though. See ya’!]