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The I’m-Too-Young-To-Die-alogues

November 30, 2010

Part of growing old is missing one’s youth. But I’ve realized lately that my inner youth isn’t as far away as I thought. In fact, it – he — lies right beneath my skin. And, in fact, we can talk.

So I began envisioning a dialogue between my inner 19 year old and me now, at age 61.  Inner-19 would still be living back in 1968; and 61 lives in the present. What would happen, I wondered, if I ever let the two of them encounter each other for the first time and have a real dialogue? It would probably go something like this…

19, upon seeing his older self: Yikes! What happened to you?! Are you dying or something?

61: Very funny.

19: (staring at 61’s wrinkles) But really – how could you let this happen?!

61: Hey – consider the alternative. And can’t you do something about your hair?

19: Can’t you do something about your hair?!

61: I don’t have any hair!

19: No kidding! Maybe that’s why you’re complaining about mine! You can just figure I’m compensating for you beforehand.

61: Hmmm. Makes me wonder about young men today who shave their heads – they may regret it later on.

19: (shocked) You mean, in the future where you live, all the kids are skinheads? Everyone’s a Nazi?

61: Don’t worry about it. And can’t you do something about that army jacket and those patched-up jeans? Why, if I were your age –

19: Wait a minute! You were my age!

61: — If I had gotten a haircut and bought some better clothes, the classy babes I coulda gotten back then!

19: I don’t want those straight bourgeois women! And look at me – I got a gaggle of girls at school rotating through my pad here on E. 11th Street.

61: True…

19: So tell me, did you completely sell out? Should I off myself now? You cut your hair, went straight. Somebody can look at you now and never suspect where you came from!

61: That’s how I like it.

19: You embarrass me! I’d never want to be seen with you! My friends would all laugh!

61: You embarrass me! I’d never want to be seen with you!

19: Yeah…but you need me now!

61: No – you need me! To get you out of your adolescent muck!

19: There you go, talking like dad.

61: You shoulda listened to him.

19: Yeah, right. I’ll say it again: You need me!

61: For what? Although I could use that younger version of my dick, that’s for sure! Oh, the things I could teach you now about pleasing a woman!

19: I do fine over here, thank you very much. What I may lack in experience I make up for within 10 minutes of finishing.

61: (sighs) Ah, yes: stamina as nostalgia.

19: But you need me for other reasons.

61: For what? To remind me how to run the 50 yard dash?

19: Well…to remind you.

61: Of…?

19: What it was like being my age.

61: So I can get all depressed?

19: I’m part of you, man. Right there. But you forget about me.

61: Seems like I’m trying to remember all the time.

19: With sadness, with regrets. But do you remember when you once looked into your eyes in the mirror, and then wrote, “What I thought was the spark of youth, turned out to be the spark of life, and it stayed with me always” — remember writing that?

61: Yeah, but I wrote it when I was 35. How did you know that?

19: Oh, he’s around as well, and sometimes we talk. And he and I want to know: Don’t you ever miss being really exuberant? Exhilarated?

61: I live on a much more even keel nowadays.

19: If you call that living.

61: I like it that way. It has its advantages. I can put my best energies into pursuits that are deeper than riding my hormones and my moods.

19: BOR-RING!!! Please – it’s a beautiful day. Can we at least go out for a walk in the park or something?

61: When I get a minute.

19: You mean – you don’t have a minute?! So you have these nice tranquil seas now, but no time to sail them?

61: Look. I’m in the thick of my life. I’ve bitten off a lot, and I’m busy chewing: My job; my writing; my wife and men’s group and friends; and I’m online a lot…

19: Waiting on a line?

61: On the computer.

19: You have a computer? You work for IBM?

61: It’s a long story.

19: I want to go out and enjoy the day!!

61: I’ve got work to do, and then I want to take a nap.

19: You’re old and slow and scary, and I’m stuck inside of you!

61: Pipe down!

19: HELP! Somebody! I’m trapped inside this dying mammoth!  But wait – don’t you have any grass lying around?

61: You mean wheat?

19: Come on! Any acid?!

61: You mean ascorbic?

19: Oh God! Make that a dead mammoth!

(To be continued…)

7 Comments leave one →
  1. November 30, 2010 2:13 pm

    I want to kill myself. And you.

  2. murray permalink
    November 30, 2010 5:23 pm

    I just love your Dia-logues. funny/serious but don’t do this on the streets . I avoid people who converse with themselves.

  3. Laurie Yankowitz permalink
    November 30, 2010 6:11 pm

    Brilliant stuff, Charley!

    Lately I’ve been marvelling that many of my friends’ children are now grown adults, and older than when I first became friends with their parents….it doesn’t seem possible. When that feeling goes away, I think that’s when I’ll now I really AM old!

  4. November 30, 2010 10:54 pm

    At least you can remember what it was like to be young. Most of us old codgers can’t even remember.

  5. December 1, 2010 2:23 pm

    Sorry, readers of Charlie’s blog, apparently not everyone realized I was only kidding when I said “I want to kill myself; and you.” I really only wanted to kill Charlie.

  6. December 7, 2010 8:22 pm

    I age therefore I am—-

  7. February 27, 2012 11:56 pm

    Charlie, I finally got around to reading this piece. It is terrific! You should do more of it.
    You’re a threat to Woody Allen.

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