Last night I laughed so hard I had a moment of panic that I wouldn't be able to breathe.  From somewhere in memory the thought popped up that the body will breathe--that's what it does. And so, caught in a seizure of hilarity--nothing I could do about it--I waited--flailing, pounding the bed, trapped in a rictus of crazy enjoyment, helpless in a surf of laughter. And then I gulped, breathed, was relieved, and then was off again, helpless.

You don't laugh like this alone--you need an unindicted co-conspirator, a black ops ninja of the ridiculous--which I have, in spades, in my wife, who was as helplessly hysterical as I was, writhing, her face red--two insane people caught by a power that wouldn't let us go. If I paused then heard her, I was off again. If she managed to get control for a moment, my mad flailing set her off. And thus it went until  exhaustion slowed us down--punctuated by final eruptions--down, down, to a puddled conclusion.

Clearly there are different ways to make love.

                               ............................................................

I'm looking up at the corner of my study; a crack, like a seismic graph, runs up the crease of the wall, then angles outward for about a foot, then peters out.  My house was built in 1929; this kind of crack is called a "settling strain."

Everything goes south--if I thought that was merely an expression, I have only to look at my 70 year old body. I'm a slender guy, so it's not that I've put on weight. It's that what used to be part of my chest has migrated to my belly. Who knew? I now know.

Everything is pulled to earth. This is not atrocious. This is normal.

Thinking about last night, I'm smiling--in fact, I'm starting to laugh.
 


Comments

Allan DiBiase
04/07/2013 12:04pm

Having written my daily Thoreau piece in Ambulations, then in some amazing mobilization of energy created a comprehensive DRAFT of the letter requesting essays/writers for the Peter Lang book (I do believe signing and sending in an actual contract (tomorrow) is a big part of this) (it required a intelligible summation of everything we at this point can foresee and want)....

it was simply then the best to come and read your piece for today. It really filled a need and in a wonderfully identifiable way.

And yes, there is cracking and sagging and decay going on all around us. It's the nature of things. Despite this, some things continue to stand erect. Such spars stand in our beaver pond having lost their lease on a certain kind of life 25 years or so ago. But in a different kind of life they still welcome the dawn, penetrate the horizon, stand at attention day and night. After the fall, in the spring, turtles align toward the sun on them as they lie in the shallow water.

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Denise Smyth
04/07/2013 8:42pm

If wisdom, grace and humor are as much a part of aging for me as they are for you, then I am happy to be right behind you.

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