Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Will You Still Need Me, Will You Still Feed Me...

When I'm 45.

Yairp. I turned 45 today. It's strange just as I guess it is for every 45 year old who loves new music, new stories, new people. You still feel like you did when you were 25. My body shape is pretty much the same when I was 25. I'm still as stupid and silly and as smart and dumb and as sad I was at 25. I don't think I'm any wiser.

I'm as much of a loner as I was at 25, just with better friends. I have some beautiful friends. Have had a few beautiful friends pass through. I will miss them, but I'm not big into going into the past.

When I was 25 I thought I was going to be a successful novelist. One short story under the belt, another shortlisted, then a couple of meetings with publishers about novel manuscripts. Still thought I was going to make it. I got a few short stories out there and that was nice.

At 45 I pretty much doubt I'll ever write another novel. I don't have the stamina. A novel is like a marathon. Takes a lot of hard work. At 45 I well know the pleasure of the get in and get out adventure of magazine writing.

At 25, I didn't know I'd ever be a magazine writer. Or one time dance music mag editor. Or Theatre reviewer. Or even a chef at The Sydney Opera House. At 25 I didn't know I'd have my own silly little humour column. I had no idea I'd have written, by 45, for a ridiculous variety of magazines.

At 25 I didn't know I'd spent my 45th birthday alone. Wandering through some farmer markets to soak up the vibe because I was asked to write some copy for a website. I didn't know that my 45th birthday would be spent finding my new mobile phone and realising I'd lost all my phone numbers in the corpse of the old mobile phone (yeah, send me your numbers, please).

Oh - not alone all day. At 25 I didn't know I'd be having dinner on my 45th with the same gorgeous 25 year old I was seeing back then, just 20 years later.

The 25 year old me would probably think I was old now. The 45 year old me doesn't feel old. And the 45 year old me, knowing how fraught with shit the 25 year old was, would probably say chill dude. You've got some shit to work through, but you'll be fine.

The 25 year old me would probably have said in response, fuck off weirdo.

45 year old me would probably slap the cheeky fucker across the ear, because that's what my now 92 year old grandfather once did to me when I was a boy and accidentally I bit into a goose egg. The raw kind in its shell. (Don't ask, really).

Maybe 45 year old me would tell 25 year old me be careful - you will have at least one close death encounter so you should be careful with swan-diving into the abyss. Try not to be so reckless.

25 year old me, I know, would shrug an be non-committal.

45 year old me might say something about the music, and both of us would probably settle down into a very cool conversation and realise we have a hell of a lot in common on the music front. 25 year old me would talk excitedly about Gary Numan. I would talk about psytrance. 25 year old me would ask what the hell is psytrance. 45 year old me would say man you have fun stuff to look forward to and by the way, I'm seeing Gary Numan at The Enmore next week... remember when you missed him last time around? Don't worry about it - you'll see him at his best one day.

25 year old might ask who the image is in this post. 45 year old me would say click on the image to enlarge, and oh fuck you have no idea of the music and the people you are going to encounter. You're not going to be great, by any means, but you will meet some pretty amazing people and hear some amazing music. Remember when you were into Laurie Anderson?

Yeah, and the others were into Cold Chisel.

Don't sound so glum. One day you will hear Laurie Anderson play sublime music in the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House - your office, by the way - and you might even get to make a bit of a twat of yourself in her company.

No way. Fuck off.

Trust me. Anyway, Happy 25th.

Happy 45th, old guy.


Anonymous said...

Happy birthday, mate.

Live often seems rich in retrospect. I'm glad yours does.

When I was about 25, an older person told me that one tends to turn into the person that a few years previously you wished you were (as opposed to the person you now wish you were).

Kathryn said...

As a 25 year-old (only until Friday) it is good to know I shouldn't sweat the small stuff and things will undoubtedly get better. The 25 and 45 you both sound cool.

Lee said...

Thanks Drodbar. Yeah, it's weird. In many ways I want to be someone else now, but I can see how 25 year old me wouldn't be too unhappy with being who I am now.

I'm not happy with who I am now though.

I don't know that things get better, Kat. I just know that you cruise a bit more. You cruise 20 years closer to death, hopefully with laughs and falling over and getting back up and laughing about it on the way.

But thank you.

isabelle said...

a very happy birthday Lee...
here's to the next 20 years
( and now I'm wondering what the 65 year old you will be saying and doing )
x x x

Lee said...

thank you Isabelle.

45 year old me will probably bump into 65 year old me on the dancefloor at a doof and say, "Don't you think you're getting a bit old to be doing this sort of thing?"

And 65 year old me will reply, "I plan to have this very conversation with 85 year old me while we're stomping on the dancefloor, and I hope he gives me the same answer I've just given you."

Ben said...

"When I was 25 I thought I was going to be a successful novelist"


That said, I loved this post. It's made me want to leave my flat and take a brief walk, for a change. Happy belated birthday, sir.

Y said...

Happy belated Birthday! I'm not sure if I actually knew how old you were before. You two always seem so young at heart to me :)

Lee said...

Hello Ben. Just because I didn't make it doesn't mean you won't. Main thing is to give it a go, don't you think? You might just have what it takes. I suspect a lot of people don't have the balls to give creative stuff a shot.

Hello Miss Y. Generally, given the life we lead, both Ann and I have usually avoided the age thing. We've had discussions about whether or not to lie about our age (in clubbing situations it's often been easier to lie... just chop 10 years off, no one gets too freaked out).

But I've kind of started feeling like I should get used to it. Accept my age. It's real, no matter how weirdly my life turned out.

That's a nice thing to say, too. I think the young at heart thing comes from just liking stuff, from just getting an innocent joy out of stuff. I like stuff - funny stuff, musical stuff, tasty stuff, funny stuff, pretty stuff, lovey stuff - and I like it all a lot.