I am considering the fact that I may be in the middle of my “mid-life crisis”. I say this because my recent thoughts and actions have been somewhat bizarre and are what can only be described odd for a man of my age. Lately I’m becoming very aware of life’s limitations and my mortality. As with many of us when I look in the mirror I don’t see that 16 year old youth staring back but rather a middle aged man but I still feel 16. My mind is telling me I’m young but I’m looking at the reflection of an old man. All around me I see and experience death and decay. My parents now gone. Friends either dead or long since estranged, my only ties to people are acquaintances, no one I can really call a friend anymore. The youthful joy and camaraderie I shared with those few other outcast youths like myself long forgotten and my only ties with people that haven’t gone away are through social media like Facebook. People that may have once been friends but are now distant memories of experiences I had as a young person.
I see their posts, most of them my age. I remember their youth only to see much older people not, people that couldn’t possibly have been those teenagers and twenty somethings whom I once knew and socialized. Their beautiful young bodies aging, visible wrinkles and skin blemishes appearing on their faces and hands occasionally posting on Facebook about new aches and pains that they are experiencing as part of their aging process. I know in their minds, they like me they feel 16. Our bodies age but our minds remain young forever.
I witness my lift partner’s health deteriorating. He has endured heart attack after heart attack (5 to date) followed by multiple bouts of congestive heart failure events. Every day he and I together face death. Death was something that happened to or affected other people, not me, but any more I find myself attending funerals or losing people that although their bodies are a bit old are still far to young to be gone forever. Death was just not something common to my life experience. Most recently a friend of my, my very age in fact was playing games on Facebook one morning and with hours I started seeing postings related to him in the past tense, posting of shock and dismay, wishing him a peaceful rest. When I asked “What happened” I was told that he died of heart failure while playing on Facebook. He had literally died within and during the hours I was observing his gaming progress on Farmville or whatever that game is called were you maintain computer generated crops and animals.
My angst at my impending doom has given me reasons to grasp of for expressions of youth, ways for me to fend off, if even for a while short while, a visit from the grim reaper. Because of personal financial limitations I haven’t gone the route of the stereotypical man in crisis that purchases a new red sports car or motorcycle. Equally limiting my efforts is my lack of outgoing personality, wit, and charisma (not to mention weaknesses in the looks department, not unattractive but just an average Joe) which prevent me (if I were so inclined) from sinking so low as to betray the vows I made to my spouse with desperate attempts at screwing people half my age; of course I can’t help but wonder if I had money and looks if I would be seeking these distractions during this period of insecurity, I mean who wouldn’t want a sporty new red convertible. So lacking the aforementioned advantages of a healthy bank book and masculine attractiveness my guilty indulgence over the last year has been in the form of several tattoos all culminating to last night’s somewhat spontaneous and painful decision to get one of my nipples pierced.
I’m not limiting myself to instant physical changes but also undergoing the more lengthy process of body-building. I have been working out 4 to 5 days per week (give or take) for a year now and I’m in better shape than I’ve ever been in…in my entire life. I like what’s been going on so I do not regret this “crises” as it were. My response to the ever looming concept of mortality could be worse. My older brother is a good point in what not to do when one begins feeling the regret at the loss of their youth. When he was my age my brother quit his job and made a 19 year old girl pregnant. Now he has 3 children with her and they don’t live together, in fact hate each other and from what I understand he still does not work (I don’t know how he supports his family). I have heard he’s a “handyman” tending to rich people’s homes but I haven’t talked to him in years so I’m not sure if that’s true or not. He allowed his crisis to make a shambles of his life. His actions have fucked up not only his life but four others as well.
So back to my workouts which seem to be paying off. My shoulders are broader, my triceps are larger and I love my pecs, but as with most men my age my problem are is my belly, I still need to a do a lot of work in this region. My biggest problem is that while I have been working out pretty consistently I haven’t modified my diet drastically (I am eating somewhat better but not to the levels of where I maintain my calorie burn above my intake). I also have to admit I avoid the abdominal exercises that I need so desperately, when it comes to the worst part of my body, my stomach, it is also my laziest area so I am not 100% satisfied or proud of my body yet.
My nipple piercing is actually a “re-piercing” since I had it previously done over 10 years ago but it unfortunately became infected. My nipple and pectoral muscle (which was hardly a muscle at that point) became the size of a small fruit, a plum perhaps. It was unreal, the pain not to mention the embarrassment of the appearance that here I was a mature man sprouting breasts. The infection resulted in my nipple needing to be lanced (at least that’s how the doctor referred to it) but I ended up with a 3/4″ incision on my nipple. I screamed so loud that I’m sure the other patients in the waiting room must have wondered what the hell was going on. Needless to say I let the thing healed and I swore I would never get it pierced again, there was no way I was going to go through that kind of hell again. But after I started stepping up the tattoos I started thinking about doing it again and until last night I was just “thinking” about it…now its done. What amazes me is that it really didn’t hurt as badly as I thought it would despite the guy doing the piercing warning me the scar tissue of the previous piercing would undoubtedly cause this procedure to hurt far more than the original. Thankfully he was wrong but truthfully I have to give some credit for the lack of too much pain to the two Percocet’s and the beer I used to wash down the pills.
Basically the guy just told me to brace myself as he began driving the piercing implement through my nipple and he struggled a bit because of the scar tissue. He got halfway through and paused, uttering something like “damn” which concerned me a bit, then he took a deep breath and drove the implement through the rest of the way. Again it was uncomfortable and somewhat painful but did not hurt as much as I was expecting. He asked me why I wasn’t getting both done and I told him that I just preferred the one…something in my mind makes me think that both nipples being pierced looks a bit effeminate however that being said, after I got home and looked in the mirror at my newly pierced nipple I felt lopsided and started thinking “Why didn’t I get the other done?”. So I’m pretty sure that’s ahead of me but at least a couple of months from now. I gave the guy a $20 tip over and above the cost because he honestly did a great job.
Okay so my “mid-life crisis” may not seem that big of a deal to most people but for me it is my last ditch effort at doing something, anything, to take control of what is happening to my body. I love the tattoos and my new piercing and as a matter of fact I’m toying with the notion of some genital piercing as well. A Prince Albert is almost certain to occur. Also I might get a few rings in my testicle sack… but we shall see. I’m not sure if I’m ready to got to those extremes. Not yet.