Wednesday, September 06, 2006

They Say It's Your Birthday....

Some people are afraid of flying. For others, it’s a fear of confinement. Some, spiders. The list of weird phobias that people have is long and bizarre indeed.

I, my friends, must finally, publicly admit that I too suffer from a phobia, that can grip me with a sense of panic like nothing else on this earth, and every year it seems to get worse and worse.

I suffer from Gerascophobia.

Simply put, I am paralyzed by the fear of getting old.

Saturday, September 2nd was my birthday. This year, I turned 38.

When I was in my teens, I often told my friends that I couldn’t see myself living past 25, because I just couldn’t see myself as an “adult”. They would take it as a joke, but I was deathly serious. I just couldn’t fathom the 18-year-old-me ever making the transition to becoming a responsible adult.

As the years have worn on, that feeling has not left me, even though at this point in my life, I would have to call myself middle-aged, even though it gives me the shakes even thinking it.

On the night before my birthday, I literally woke up from a dead sleep at 4 A.M. in a cold sweat. A thought enveloped me, which shook me to my bones.

What could put me in such a state of near-hysterics, you might ask? Simply this:

It has been approximately 20 years since I graduated high school. The time between my high school days and today seems like a blink of an eye to me. Really. I feel like those days of sitting in the cafeteria and getting wedgies in gym class were just yesterday, instead of 2 decades ago.
So, what if I ‘blink’ again, and suddenly another 20 years have passed, and I find myself now 58! I couldn’t even call myself middle-aged then.

No folks, then I’d be “old”.

That thought had me paralyzed in my bed with fear for the rest of the night.

I know that this is irrational, crazy talk. Everyone gets older, everyone dies, deal with it, yadda yadda. But for some reason, I just can’t get my head around the fact that one day I’ll be needing an adult diaper and a glass by my bedside to put my teeth in.

Maybe that’s why subconsciously I make it a point to still do all the things I used to do when I was a young’un. I still play video games, read comic books, make juvenile jokes, and am generally the most immature person I know.

Maybe all that stuff is just a defensive smoke-screen that allows me to cope with my stubborn refusal to deal with my own immortality………

Or, maybe I’m just a dick.

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