At what point does the feeling of mortality begin? Looking at your body in the mirror; seeing the sags, wrinkles and graying hair? Waking up to perpetually stiff muscles? Fifty years old, one-half century, five decades. The barber shop I entered on my 50th birthday was not my first choice. The shop formerly called Docs' was closed. It reopened as "Icy Cutz" recently. I feel stupid going in there because of the name so maybe there is no reason to return. This barber shop will have to do as the last vestige of a traditional barbershop and the last one without a hipster name in Angleton. The wall which faces the customer pays homage to the military; young men who left this town to fight in a war fabricated and propped up for years, fed by corporations and a fear mongered population. Sitting on the barber chair I notice a partial interpretation of the second amendment to bill of rights. Quick and to the point, the right to bear arms is a favorite tool of fear for the National Rifle Association and Republican Party. The former to maintain and grow membership, the latter to make the electorate feel the GOP is only defense against the fascist Obama administration. So what? I come here for a haircut and for the time being am tolerant of Rush Limbaugh on the radio because I get a damn good haircut.
What bothers me is his staring; the old man with the feed store cap coming in for what I assume is highlight of his day. At age 50 I'm starting to compare myself to men that are older than me, wondering how the progression of only 10 to 20 more years will have on my mental and physical capacity. He sits there, occasionally engaging in pedestrian conversation but mostly acknowledging what my barber is saying to him.
At this point in life it's not so much the midlife crisis as it is the endgame. I've been fortunate to escape the midlife crisis, being satisfied with my adventurous life. Would have loved to work for the CIA but I screwed up my personal life too early for that. Should I pass judgment on this man without first finding out the life he led? Am I scared to ask because I may be looking at myself in 30 years? Is there anything left to him beyond getting up and hoping his children call him today? His face is so vacant, voided of any extracurricular thought. At what point did he give up?
You can't live in this society and not be immune to the capitalistic forces that want to profit off your age. Hospitals want to scope your colon, Luby's will give you a senior discount, you need One A Day vitamins in your golden years and the makers of Viagra want to give you a four hour erection. I've yet to be told I'm not a kid anymore but that day will come. The forces are numerous that want to take your identity and bring you back into the Matrix and you have to fight it from day one. This is becoming a society of mental pygmies, wasting away without any legacy to improve the destiny of mankind. I need to either escape or become part of the solution. It's 1:35 in the morning. I'm too tired to think anymore. Goodnight