JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

How?

4-up on 2010-12-30 at 08.39

Sometimes I look at myself in the mirror and wonder, “How did I get here?”

I really don’t understand it. I feel like I should be 21. Sometimes, 25. But I look at my reflection, and I’m aging. My hairline isn’t what it once was, I have bags under my eyes, occasionally I’ve gotta tug out a gray hair. The years from 13 through 30 didn’t seem to go that fast. They didn’t crawl, but they didn’t soar past, either. I enjoyed them, without thinking much about aging. But now, at 37, I can see myself at 40. At 50. At 60. At 70. At 80. At 90. At Dead.

Any boyish features have pretty much vanished. The lines on my forehead are deeper than they were a year ago. My back hurts when I wake up. Sometimes, in a desperate swipe at youth, I’ll wear a backward baseball cap. Or hold a conversation about hip-hop or flicks with someone 10 … 15 years my junior. But the Fountain of Youth doesn’t exist, and no matter how many times I tell myself today’s 37 is yesterday’s 27, well, it’s not. It’s me trying to comfort myself.

I don’t fear aging. I just don’t like it. I want to stay 25 forever. Hell, I’d be happy sticking at 37 forever. But 38 comes in a matter of months, the years flying by without a break for lunch.

How did i get here?