Monday, September 03, 2007


a post is coming about USA basketball. You can all check in and promptly check back out when you see a sports heading.

But today I have been forced into reflecting about my aging, and mortality.

There are times, like at the last triathlon, where I feel twenty years old: ready to take on the world, and win. These times, I think, will keep me young, keep me healthy and happy.

And then my body, my mind, betray me, and I am told I am quite old. Quite old, indeed.

The day started innocuously enough. Carly and I drove to Fargo to visit with my sister and her boyfriend. My aunt and uncle were nice enough to take me school shopping when my mother did not have the money to do so, and I have turned that into tradition with my own nephew, even though his mother has plenty, and always makes sure he does, too.

He picked out the clothes and shoes by himself, I think that is important for a kid his age, and he did a fantastic job. I have no doubt the outfit he chose will be his first day outfit (an honor, we all know, going to the coolest threads one has purchased)

Things, I think, started going down hill slightly after that. We had eaten at Famous Dave's, and I was duped by my Judas brain into ordering the buffet. As it happens, I am less like the cheetah of old, who could eat anything in any quantity and shake it off--I am more like the tired mother bear. The meal will me huge, to be sure, but the rest of the day will be a comatose sleep-walk that will dull my senses and wreak havoc on my gastro-intestinal tract. (I am sorry, guys, for any smells emanating from me)

In this state we found ourselves back at the apartment. The FIBA Americas tournament was in the gold medal round, and my sister does not have the good grace to have NBA TV, so we had to find a place to watch. Of course, such places serve alcohol, and they want you to buy it if you are sitting around watching their TVs. We obliged.

Feeling good about a very lopsided victory, and having imbibed what was the proper amount of said alcohol to make everyone giddy, we went BACK to the apartment, this time to stay. We played a new board game, the details of which are lost in simply complicated rules and Josh's home stash of liquor. We all got sauced, ending up in bed around 1:30 in the AM.

I could not sleep, of course, as my stomach (mentioned above) was now full of barbecue and booze, and I had the honor of sleeping on the small couch, even though they just bought a larger couch and my wife is much shorter than I (she really can be pushy folks, don't let the cute face fool you). I slept a total of an hour, perhaps an hour and a half, and was so much worse the wear in the morning.

Luckily, my wife was over her bout, and was kind enough to drive home (I take back all the mean things I said about you dear). I have the uncanny ability, even behind the wheel, to take a nap in the car. The thirty-eight winks I caught, while just short of what's normative, made me feel so much better.

So much better, in fact, that my mind (the whore) was working again. It decided, without the consult of my stomach, that I needed sushi. Of course, we do not have sushi in Bemidji. We have sewer-grade fish wrapped in day old seaweed, rolled on greasy white rice. The thought of it, some ten hours later, just made the bile rise in my gullet.

I have spent the time from then to now languishing on the futon upstairs, not wanting to bother my wife with moans from my mouth and bottom. I have had time to think, and now my brain tells me I was an idiot, leaving out the part it played in the ordeal, and ridiculing me for the part my legs, arms, and wallet (owned jointly by my brain and my wife's heart) took in my turn for the worse.

In the coming days we will reconcile. We will go on to forget this ever happened, turning again to activity and mind play to keep us feeling young. And one day it will rise again, and I will step out of myself, and forget the lessons of the past, and it will all happen again.

And that day, I hope, my brain will stick around. I still need it, sometimes.

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