October 20th, 2004

ledbetter tat

Hi! I'm a member of the Lipitor generation! Fun!

I’ve always been a little uncomfortable about my age. When I was a spindly teen, I desperately wanted to be a hulking twenty-year old. Once I passed that landmark but without the bulk, I wanted to stay twenty, in my dorm, bong to mouth. I saw absolutely no value in progressing beyond that point. Why bother? How could it possibly get better than that? And when I moved to Los Angeles after college, it was easy to stay twenty in my newly chosen career of prostitution. It sounded better being twenty-one, just a kiss away from a teenager. It was good for business.

Once I moved to more legitimate career real estate, I kicked up my age a few years to give the allusion of responsibility. Of course, I still had the fashion aesthetic of Joe Strummer so my plan was somewhat undercut but I held onto the fact I was twenty-five at the age of twenty-three. By the time I was twenty-nine, I was making large money, my power base overwhelmed me, and I decided to stay twenty-nine an extra year. I reasoned that I had lost so many years to drug abuse, I deserved another year, dammit.

I stumbled into my thirties, a decade I honestly didn’t think I’d ever experience, and I wasn’t even certain I wanted to see it. I turned my approach around, lived healthier (if you consider doing body building and steroids a healthy choice), lost most of my money, and when I was thirty-six, I met Billy. Unfortunately, though, he knew my real age. There was no avoiding hitting forty, no playing with the clock on that one, and I plunged ahead, more confident than when I’d slid through my thirtieth birthday. I was looking toward the future. Who the hell cared about my age anyway?

People in my career, that’s who. I was suddenly cozying up to powerful executives in their late twenties who held jobs I’d always wanted. So I had my home age with Billy and friends, and my professional age – there was about a three year spread.

I’m not all that good at math. It’s remarkable how many mental gymnastics I had to do on a moment’s notice when conversation came to answering what year I graduated high school or where I was when Kennedy got shot. It was exhausting but provided Billy with endless comedy at my expense.

This is a windy way to say I went to the doctor yesterday and he prescribed Lipitor. It makes me grumpy to worry about cholesterol. I feel like I’m about to break a hip, stock up on Depends, and grease the wheels of my walker. The truth is, I really don’t care about much of anything anymore, and if I want to eat a fried bleu cheese and bacon sandwich on white bread with a bag of chips, then try and stop me.

I’m not interested in growing old, and not simply for matters of vanity. I’m a couple of years shy of fifty but I may even delay that milestone for a few years. The AARP doesn’t need my membership, just yet. I’ll take the fucking Lipitor but there’s a cheeseburger with my name on it for lunch.