Most people say puberty brings the biggest changes of your life. Well, most people are shit heads. Puberty is nothing compared to the old man shit that’s happening now.
The 1970’s catholic school health class said nothing about sex, but they got me ready for acne and body hair.
My sophomore year of high school I grew 10 inches and gained 100 pounds (And I know what you are thinking — fuck you — some of it was muscle).
I remember lying on the couch all night and feeling my knees and elbows ache. When I woke up, I was an inch taller. But I knew that shit was coming, everybody told me so.
No one told me 30 years later my eyebrows would lose their fucking minds and get thinner and curlier at the same time.
In the last decade, half my eyebrow hair has just disappeared. The other half is growing 3-5 inches long and curling around in multiple directions all at once. I’ll be sitting in a meeting and feeling like some dirt or a spider thread has gotten in my eye. Then I’ll check the mirror, and see some alien brow hair is probing for my optic nerve.
And the nose hair. The fucking nose hair. No one told me, there would be days when I go to bed with a clear nose. But by the time I wake up, I need to comb my right nostril and the hair will reach my ear. What the fuck happened while I was sleeping?
Some mornings it’s hard to tell if the nose hair is trying to reach my ear, or the ear hair is trying to reach my nose. It’s growing in the ear, on top of the ear, off the side of the ear. Goddamn Sister Mary Lou didn’t say shit about ear hair in health class.
Maybe the hair is why I can’t hear anymore. I was sitting in Marjele’s bar in Flagstaff last weekend and every time the waitress turned her head, it was like someone switched off the volume. By the third repetition of the beer list, I’m pretty sure she thought I was deaf and senile (I have no evidence to dispute either argument).
My theory is that the hair is growing like crazy to cover up the fucked up shit happening to my skin.
At my age “bleeding happens”. For no apparent reason, from no injury, I will look down and blood will be dripping off an arm or a leg. If I’m in the sun too long, both ears have little black holes that just break open and start bleeding.
I often think I might be schizo-phrenic and leading a double life. I’ll look down and find a set of bruises on my legs or arms and have no idea where they came from. Is one of my other personalities picking street fights at night?
Nope, I’ll just bump something or someone (short little douchebags on their phone) and a day later, a bruise will arrive.
Bruises are the best part. I’m not sure when it happened, but if I leave my arms and legs in the sun for more than 10 minutes, half of it burns and the other half is covered with scaly white dots. My friend Mike told me those are pre-cancerous. His dermatologist gave him some “cream” that burned them off. He was covered in red bumps for weeks as they flaked away.
“I was the only guy to do the whole treatment,” Mike said. “No one else could tolerate the pain.”
Great. More painful shit to look forward to – and the next step is skin cancer. I’ve already had several spots cut out of my back.
So every day I’m checking the skin for more. But guess what I still get — that’s right — acne. So I get a bump on my face, or arm or back — what is that? Is that a zit, or is that fucking cancer.
I have to wait a few days to find out. So far it’s 80-20 — zits to cancer. I’m not happy about being a middle-aged pizza face, but it beats the shit out of melanoma.
Don’t get me started on the joint pain, random swelling and whatever the fuck is growing on my nails. I’m just telling you that no one explains all the details of how shitty it is to get old. If they did, the suicide rate would be astronomical…
I wish I could just go through puberty again. I’ll take random boners over hairy bruises on scaly skin any day.