23 November 2009

What Age Do You Want to Be?

This cold is slowing me down, the grayness and the shortness of the days are getting me down and it seems that just about everything else is spending me down.

And the next few days, save for Thanksgiving Day itself, will be non-stop work, as I am moving.

It's not the first time I've moved. In fact, I've probably moved more than anyone should. I recall the time Janine came to visit after one of my moves and remarked that I have had more addresses than anyone else she knows. It's an American thing, I guess.

You know what they say about being careful of what you wish for. Even though I like my current landlady and the place isn't bad, I felt that I might want to move as soon as I was well enough. I had been debating, to myself, a move to Colorado or Seattle or Europe. One problem is the same for all of those locales: finding work. And as much beauty as there is in Colorado, it's a bit far from an ocean for my tastes.

So now I'm moving to a place that's a few blocks from where I now live. The place is a good bit bigger, and the fixtures are in better condition. But now I'm feeling anxious about it. After all, the place in which I'm living now is the first to which I moved as Justine. And, of course, I've had my operation while living here.

At least, the apartment to which I'm moving is close enough so that I'll see Millie and Tami, the best friends I made on this block and the best friends I made in a very long time. And it's closer to transportation and shopping than the place where I'm living now.

Part of me tells me to look forward to the move. After all, the last two moves were good for me. I want to think this one will be, too. Other changes may result from it: good ones, I hope.

Then again, so much of what I've been experiencing during these past few months simply can't be compared to anything I experienced earlier. It's an odd feeling, in a way: Sometimes I wonder whether I'm losing my ability to miss my past.

Next semester, one prof is offering a Special Topics course he's called The Literature of Aging. He's made flyers and brochures that begin with this question: If you could be any age again, what would it be? 20? 30? 40? 50? 60? My answer would be "none of the above." Actually, I haven't been sixty, so I couldn't repeat that age yet. Fifty was just a year ago: It wasn't bad, considering that I was waiting for my surgery. But it's hard for me to imagine repeating any of those other ages. At forty, I was in the best physical shape of my life, but I was grasping at straws: I'd started to date Tammy in the hope that her love would make me into a man, or would at least make me want to be one. Thirty and twenty were both miserable times in my life; I would not want either.

Now, if I could have lived at any of those ages as a woman, I might feel differently about repeating them. But then, I wouldn't be repeating them, would I?