Somewhere between my birth and now I’ve turned seventy. It didn’t happen immediately. I’m not that naïve, but it happened. I think it happened paranormally. After graduation from high school I thought somewhere in this crippled mind of mine that I should serve my country in battle. There was this little skirmish going on in Vietnam. I didn’t know much about it, but give me a gun Uncle Sam. Luckily Uncle Sam sent me to Tokyo instead of Vietnam. That turned out to be fine, just very damn fine.
I spent most of my time in Tokyo drunk, puking raw fish, and learning how to poop in a slit in the floor. That was 1965 and things were different back then so it seems. Now that my foggy eyes strain to look back at those days I’ve learned that nothing has changed all that much. Things may appear different but people don’t appear a bit different to me. Our brains continue to gather information and our mouths tend to spew that very same information to the world in a very different format than the form in which it arrived.
Somewhere in these seventy years I’ve learned a bit of wisdom, gained seventy-five pounds, married three times, and continued to believe in the art of liberalism. Don’t worry I won’t discuss that liberalism stuff. It’s a circular thing you know. Speaking of circular, it took me many years to escape that youthful denial mode. You know the one, “I’m living forever.” I didn’t admit to the idea of mortality until I was fifty. There’s something about the age of fifty that reaches up and slaps you in the face and screams, “You’re dying dumbass and you will continue to die until you’re dead.” Imagine that.
You see there’s a problem with all this living and dying process. My body doesn’t move as well, my lungs have inhaled too much tobacco and cannabis smoke, and too much asbestos and diesel fumes. My brain though tells me I still enjoy a smidgeon of cannabis, a whole lot of Pink Floyd, and a few nice cold brews. My brain thinks all that is damn cool, but my brain gets in my way.
You see, I am an atheist so people close to me have a hard time with that. “What about the Bible?” They ask. “What about your soul?” “You’re going to hell?” Are you catching my drift? My brain (beliefs) gets in my way. I became an atheist about twenty years ago after years of Mormonism and Christian purity. Guess what? I feel good about it. I have no God guilt, no Jesus guilt, and of course no drinking-a-hot-cup-of-coffee guilt. Besides having a great wife, a wonderful son, and grandkids, it’s the best thing that’s ever happened in those seventy years of mind.