Saturday, 27 September 2008

Midlife crisis?

I was sitting astride a rather spirited pony in the middle of the Brecon Beacons with a good friend, having just been thrown at gallop to the point that sparks had flown from my eyes, lighting the horizon.

I had not ridden a horse in 20 years, yet here we were, with nothing but a compass and an ordnance survey map and lady luck to mark our paths from A to B.
Alone. In the mountains.
On horseback.
Fresh from London city.

That was the moment.

That was it...indelibly etched into my Kodak Moment List.
It was the moment that realisation unfurled, sprung up and bit me.

I asked my friend, "Why are we doing this?!"

"Midlife crisis." came his effortless reply.

Cue that famous camera angle in the film 'Jaws' where Roy Schneider is treated to the zoom effect.
Dear Lord! I am actually having a midlife crisis!
And I am.

I have basically spent my Summer hurling myself into, under and over all manner of madcap situations.
It is like my off switch has broken and my inside voice has nipped off to Barbados leaving no note as to when it might return.

How the Hell did that happen?!

I remember my parents having their own form of midlife crisis back in the eighties.
It involved my Mum having a torrid affair with the only straight Sous Chef in Staines and my dad buying a motorbike and falling off.
My Mum fell off the chef eventually...I presume, to nurse my dad's broken back. But that was how it went in those days.
You hit forty. You had an affair or you bought a stupid machine that you didn't know how to work properly.

It should be mooted at this point, that I don't even qualify to take up ownership of 'midlife' yet.
I am still clinging to the tail end of my mid thirties and regularly become victim of the Chablis Police when attempting to procure Waitrose contraband.
And herein lie the problem. When my parents had their 'midlife' they shared a tendency for balding, greying, wrinkling and love handles.
I am from that generation of thirty-somethings that have kept their figures, have perfect skin and still look hawt in a mini.
I think this is where the problem stems from.
How long can I keep this up?
How long can I go clubbing and dance like a loon to hardcore drum and bass and not feel slightly ashamed?
I am aware that I shall be forty sooner rather than later. I still haven't settled down. I have no children, nor do I have any desire to procreate. I still mess around with my band and go to parties to discuss the finer qualities of bosons...and who is shagging who.

How on Earth can I be having a midlife crisis when I am still barely out of my teens?!
I think the mirror deceives. My generation were taught to stay out of the sun and keep fit and healthy while snorting all manner of substances in all manner of toilets... we were taught the art of getting away with it.

Am I having a midlife crisis or am I simply getting away with it until old age hits and makes me pay for my sins?
Whichever way you look at it, people in my position are having fun by the barrel.
I still feel 19. I don't look too far off 19 if you are short sighted and have left your glasses at home. I frequently out-party 19 year olds and can do all the things I did when I was 19...with no ill effects.

In conclusion, I bring to you the term synthetic midlife. This is a a term I use to describe the right of passage I should be undergoing. But actually, it is simply an excuse I imagined from the ether to justify my ongoing hedonism...

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