Recently I was my favorite trendy Mexican/Venezuelan (Mexizuelan?) restaurant with my hubby ordering dinner. It was funny because I was completing his sentences....as we seem to be doing more and more after 15 years together. I said out loud to the obviously gay waiter, "see this is what happens when you spend so much time together, you complete each others' sentences."
The smart ass waiter replied, "I hope I die before I'm 40, if I don't I've got a gun and I'll kill myself." Which was an amazingly odd comment coming from a. the help and b. somebody who seemingly could only improve with age. Needless to say I was shocked and offended. Firstly, because you just don't say shit like that to customers who are, obviously over 40 and secondly, in a position to leave a good tip.
Of course this got me thinking about age, youth, masculinity and power. I thought to myself, as I am sure many of us have, would we go back? Would we go back to who we were at 20? Even if we could retain our current knowledge, would we want to be that age again? Would I want to go through college again, start a career, start a family.....retrain a husband? Granted some of these things were wonderful when I did them, but would I do them again?
It also got me thinking about all the gay men who never made it to 40, in this 30th anniversary of the first AIDS case. 500,000 gay men died in the 80's and 90's all of them would have gladly told that little boy that life only gets better and that its a privilege and a joy to reach this age. There were very few men my age in my 20's just like there are very few gay men in their 50's and 60's today. I never believed I'd live to 40, let alone be spinning around in a new BMW convertible.
Most importantly would I trade all the accrued power of money, good credit, and experience for the power of youth and beauty? In the worlds of gay men and straight women, beauty is a very valuable currency. Would I trade his life for mine? (but he was skinny and pimply so maybe just a younger version of myself.) Would I kill myself at 40?
Of course the purpose of this blog is to really to say that there is life after 40, after kids, after wrinkles and grey hair. The power of maturity surprises and shocks me . That life gets better and richer as you know yourself. If I see that boy again, I would say: "I've been your age, (but I was much prettier) and it sucked."