December 7, 2020
Caution: The following is gross…
Your body loves to tell you how old it is. It complains. Varying intermittent pains in your back, knees and shoulders. Twinges you feel upon rising. Parts grow bigger (nose, prostrate, hairs in your ear) even as you get smaller (5’ 8” from 5’ 10”). A shrinking bladder forces you out of bed. Or is it an expanding prostrate? Likely a combination, another one-two punch to the body. An incessant gurgling inside your stomach, like an old furnace, churns and groans, doing its job, but inefficiently and unpleasantly. Sometimes when you sit on the toilet you emit only gas. Ten full seconds! Surely that is a record. You think of capturing one of these lengthy farts on your iPhone then playing it for your daughters, who still get a kick out of such things. Why not? They watch crude and vulgar videos on You Tube. Girls, look what daddy can do! It would break the Internet. You imagine the terror on your wife’s face. How could you? You could.
Bodily functions have become more important. Maybe pervasive is the better word. When did taking a dump become such a triumph? Some years ago you began to feel an itch in your ears. You stuck your pinky finger in to remedy the matter and pulled out a large yellow flake. Now you regularly use the top of a ballpoint pen or even a bent paper clip to rake your inner ear. Pieces of wax adhere to the metal and plastic, which you find satisfying and troubling in equal measures. Within hours the buildup is there again. Sticking foreign objects in your ear has become routine. It’s gross but not enough to make you stop. Not even close. As a kid you were the same way about scratching mosquito bites, until they bled and scabbed over. Then you would pick the scabs. On and on that went. You have blemishes on your ankles that are 40 years old.
If you hadn’t started shaving your head decades ago, before it was trendy, you might wonder how much hair you actually have left. It began falling out in your late twenties, when you got married. Whatever amount remained it would most certainly be gray. Thankfully, this is a moot point. You are relieved that your cranium is smooth and without unsightly contusions. A shaved head suits you. If it doesn’t, no one has told you otherwise.