JEFF PEARLMAN

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

Aged

Screen Shot 2015-05-03 at 9.34.09 AMSo there’s this awful website, how-old.net, that allows you to submit a picture and it’ll tell you, well, how old you look.

The above image is me.

Crap.

I know I don’t look 70. And I guess I don’t really care how old I look. But, well, age really just jumps out of a dark space and surprises you. Last week I was 21. Wasn’t it? Standing behind the Stole Balloon, throwing up from Jagermeister shots. That was last week. Or maybe two weeks ago. And now … my back is awful. I can’t run any longer. And, apparently, I look 70.

I’m happy in my life. I truly am. But—just being honest here—I’m jealous of lost youth. Last night, for example, I drove past a house in our neighborhood where a party was going on. It was a bunch of 20-somethings, standing in the street, music blaring, iPhones lighting up the night. There were females in short shorts, guys in tight Ts … and I felt like the Ghost of Christmas Past, looking at what was but will never again be. I didn’t want to jump out of my car and hang with these people. I mean, I’m not quite sure what we’d talk about. But I … I wanted to be them. Young and ambitious and filled with hope and burdened by surface worries. No bills to pay, no 6:40 am alarms blaring. Just innocence and optimism.

I’m only 43. It’s not too old. But I’m starting to feel old. And it sucks. I don’t see the benefits of aging, except you’re not dead. I mean, people say, “Oh, you gain wisdom.” But, eh, I can do without more wisdom.

I want to run a marathon, then go out drinking with my friends, then sleep until noon the next day.

Alas, I’m an adult.

Dammit.