BEHIND THE TIMES
Ahhh. Glorious Sunday mornings. Wake up, nestle up close and personal with the warmth of my partner’s comforting skin on my skin, his hands firmly placed on the non sensation but kind of still feeling breasts, deep breaths and generous love as we contemplate who will get up and start the morning coffee grinding and making ritual. He volunteers and I greedily accept sneaking in a few extra minutes of a king size bed to myself before moving. I hear him and watch him as he exits. “Watch your eyes,” he usually says to prepare me for the entrance of light into my realm, previously dark as the morning sun is still hiding. I watch him get dressed, his sleek trim runners body from years of discipline at the gym. At seventy he takes my fifty two year old breath away. I stare like I am looking at a piece of artwork as I do every chance I get which makes him feel uncomfortable. Like I am “blowing smoke up his ass,” he frequently says likely in disbelief that at seventy he can still be admired like he is a thirty something. I am not bullshitting him. I never bullshit actually, I am truth like it or leave it.
I make my way to the comfortable couch where the Sunday Times awaits, the smell of coffee wafts. I can hear the heat cranking as it begins its slow climb from nighttime comfortable 61 to my new rule of fuck this, I work too hard to be cold, 70. Yeah baby. No ten layers for me in my own house. I am not living with my father anymore who kept our old poorly insulated Jamestown converted summer houses at something like 59. I remember last year when I finally freed myself from the ban on heat escalation because of my younger year training I never questioned. Talk about liberation, when the first gas bill came in and it wasn’t crazy, I was thinking why the hell did we freeze so much back in the seventies? Probably his parents did the same thing and he likely never questioned. Fuck that. I am going to be warm and that’s that.
As I settled in with my coffee and the Sunday Times, the Sunday Review section was my first stop and as usual, it would not disappoint my hungry morning brain. Without Her, by Amy Chozick, followed by The Heartbeat of Racism is Denial by Ibram X. Kendi supercharged my mind filling it with thoughts I hadn’t considered. Guess Who’s Coming to Peanuts, by David Kamp introduced me to Franklin, the first and only black cartoon character in Charlie Brown comic strips introduced “cautiously” on July 31, 1968. I discovered how Franklin came to even exist as Franklin’s birth was no accident relative to the timing of Martin Luther King’s death three months earlier. I continued on with two other heart palpitating producing opinion pieces that satisfied my liberal and social consciousness, completely energized by my new found brilliance.
As I moved on to the Sunday Styles section, I started to feel a bit like my 100 year old grandfather trying to navigate an Iphone. Meet Your Masters, by Nellie Bowles with the tagline, “The revolution will be ushered in by young cryptocurrency millionaires,” (yes it appears this is a real word), Revolution? Bitcoin? Cryptocurrency? Who am I and what planet do I live on? I had a flashback to some old Star Trek episodes I used to watch gathered around a small black and white tv at my friend’s grandparent’s gas station on a lazy afternoon smoking pot watching these at the time futuristic reruns thinking I was living in Back to the Future.
Then there was all of this language I was unfamiliar with as I made my way through a piece about a new app called WeCroak reminding you five times a day to stay humble because basically no one gets out alive. I think a few bouts with breast cancer does this just fine and I don’t need to spend one penny on an app reminding me to appreciate life. Apparently Death, a once taboo subject is now “trending.” Yes the word “trending” was used in the article to describe the awareness of Death movement apparently popular with 20 and 30 something’s. Have I been sleeping? When did words like trending to describe death or even worse, five times daily reminders of death? When did the word bitcoin ever become a real word and how on earth did it even become a real thing that could actually be associated with the possibility of becoming a millionaire? When did the word genderqueer become a word as I learned about this in the article above the Death app one to describe someone as a genderqueer farmer?
My head was kind of spinning yet I was excited as I usually am to learn. Period. I love to enhance my mind, my thought process. I am a happy and receptive student and reading the Times helps me travel down a path that brings me great pleasure. I try to see other sides of the conversations, but I haven’t really found other conversations that don’t have a tinge of disdain for these topics in other news arenas so I stay comfortably reading page after page on a Sunday morning lazily into the afternoon. I am literally and figuratively “behind the times,” pun totally intended. That being said, I am a hungry enthusiast about all of these topics that I am often unfamiliar with and open to learning about them. At the same time, though relieved and happy to be ‘behind the times’ knowing I don’t have to get caught up in the energy that is all of this twenty and thirty something. This is the joy of getting older, the glorious passing of the torch to the next generation. I’ll leave that to my son. He can take the baton and get jazzed about bitcoins and Death apps.