In a few days I will turn an unbelievable 50 years old. Incredible.
April of 1966 I came into this world, born then abandoned by an unknown mother, conceived with an unknown father. According to my parents ( the people who raised me ) I was adopted at 6 months old. Under what circumstances and where I resided in those first 6 months is a complete mystery to me. Unknown. I'm not even sure if my date of birth is real, or if it's the date I was taken home, since the information on my birth certificate pertains to the adopters. Why I was given up by my birth mother, or under what circumstances I was conceived is also a mystery, one I will never know the answer to. One that hardly matters to me.
It is inconceivable that I am rounding the corner into my twilight years. In fact, I now have less years left on this earth than I've already lived. Truth be told, mentally, I'm still in my twenties. I still want to act out, show off, run with the big dogs, drink till dawn and charm the pretty young ladies. In fact, I still give it a valiant try every so often, and then I suffer. The mental image I have of myself is drastically different than the grey bearded, blurry eyed, overweight, receded hairline reflection I see in the mirror each morning, but I still have a big mouth and a cocky attitude, and I still seem to be able to get away with it. For now.
I've had a good life up to this point, no. I've had an incredible life. I've seen more, done more, partied more, travelled more, befriended more, loved and fought more than most. I've played in a rock band in Alabama. I went to jail in North Dakota. I've traveled the Savannah river and shucked fresh oysters on Hilton Head Island. I've traveled to the other side of the earth and drank beer on Bondi Beach, and I shook the hand that shook the world. I've raised two beautiful daughters, and married someone who has stuck with me through some very difficult times. I've struggled and won, and lost, a lot. I've loved a dog more than I thought possible, and I held her in my arms and cried as she died.
I've held my granddaughter.
My teenage years were truly legendary. There have been books written of the exploits. Maybe someday I'll write one of my own, from my perspective, about breaking away from poverty and an abusive adoptive mother, and given absolute total freedom to roam and plunder with a large revolving group of working class neighborhood teenaged toughs, the do-nothing boys. Look it up and support a local author, but that's another story.
I've buried best friends.
I've seen more and done more in this life than most have a right to. I've had fun. My life has been extraordinary. I'm lucky, and I'm so very unlucky. I've ducked and rolled with punches. I've dusted off and carried forward, because that's what life is, a series of setbacks and let downs, punctuated with incredible and awesome experiences.
No one has lived my life, only me. No one has a right to judge. I've never quite fit in and I never tried. I won't, and neither did my friends. I look back and I see the fun, the wild times. My god. How we howled at the moon.
50 years old. Ten, twenty years left? Thirty? Like my beginning in this life, the end is a mystery. More struggles? Maybe. I know for certain there will be more fun and more good times, more laughs, and maybe the odd howl at the moon because life is in your attitude, not in your situation.