So last night my damned big dog smelt a racoon who had crossed the somewhat busy street in front of our house. A leap, a bound and I crashed down halfway into the oncoming lane of traffic. No cars, no trucks – just a beaten up knee and a left hip which, at my age, could easily have broken. It didn’t. All that milk has kept me up calcium and the bones are not yet brittle.
We continued the walk. Had a pint at my local and came marching, with a slight limp, back up the hill.
But it was a reminder of just how fast age catches up. Twenty years ago the net recovery time would have been over night, now it is a week and a half.
At 56 I like to think of myself as in the early to mid stages of middle age. I easily keep up with the younger dads, run internet based businesses, tweet on occasion. But I also know that the idea of early to mid middle age is a bit of a joke from our parents perspective and insane from our grandparent’s point of view.
A doctor once told me that any injury over 40 was permanent. He was right. With luck my fall will simply make me walk a bit funny for a couple of weeks; but the fact is that this will be sheer, dumb, luck.
It will take months for the bruises to go down.
I hate getting older. I don’t think I am the least bit wiser. And I certainly am no more knowledgable – I was kidding my 11 year old at dinner that he knows pretty much as much as I do.
If there is a consolation – and why should there be – it is that I have somehow retained the excitement in what is going to happen next. When that goes my next fall will be my last and I will not get up again. And at 96 that will be the order of battle. I suspect I will own progressively smaller dogs. 80 pounds, 40, 20 and a 10 pounder to see me out.