We have reached that portion of the year in my desert hamlet where the temperatures soar to Africa Hot. That's not a complaint. I get mine in January when I'm at the beach and you suckers are shoveling snow. I'll take egregious heat over bone-numbing cold every single time. As long as my air conditioner continues to work, nobody takes a crap in the community pool and the grocery store continues to sell Widmer Hefeweizen, I will abide.
Of course, I could be smarter about the weather. With the mercury past triple-digits yesterday, I played 90 minutes of soccer and 18 holes of golf. I took three cold showers. I have limited movement in my extremities. But my hair still looks good.
Next weekend, I play a soccer tournament in Santa Barbara. Though the weather will be more mild, we could potentially play five games in two days. The toughest is always the first game on Day Two. Because we're old and sore and have limited movement in our extremities. But also because we invade State St. on Saturday night like frat boys on Spring Break. Ain't maturity grand?
This is the first year we will play in the Over-40 division. Blanch. Ugh. Fuck. I can't begin to count the ways this makes me feel old in ways I've never felt before. I've probably mentioned previously about how turning 40 didn't tilt me, despite it happening right in the G.D. middle of The Troubles. I had bigger issues to obsess about. In fact, the only birthday I've ever had that administered a whuppin' was my 33rd. Because that was the Year 2000, a milestone I'd stared at as a child, the Big Scary Future, and couldn't believe I'd someday be that age.
This isn't about waking up and beginning to wrestle with my mortality. I've never really been that guy (minus that early-90s period when I was on drugs all the time and had frequent panic attacks). The simple fact remains that my life is probably half over. Maybe more so.
The future? I don't worry about it. Plan for it? Sure. Try to make good decisions in the present and hope the chips fall more or less fairly. People like to talk about their 10-year plans and shit like that. What a waste. "Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans."
I knew I was going to pay for yesterday's physical insolence. My grandfather, 88-years old and still hanging strong, wished me good luck in my soccer game yesterday. I replied, half-jokingly, "Winning is less important than not getting injured or passing out." Of course, when I got out on the pitch, I didn't shy away from anything. Soccer, golf, Emet, AJ. These are among the things that give me joy. I've no desire to push them to tomorrow, regardless of whatever consequences I reap.
So, next Saturday night, you'll likely find my teammates and I closing down the James Joyce Pub on State St. We'll pay in the ayem. Oh, will we pay. But the cost of missing out on that time is considerably more expensive.