As the Body Grows Old
Three months ago, as the result of nothing at all, I turned to take some pizza out of the microwave and felt a pain in my back so intense it brought me to the floor. I was alone in the kitchen; the kids had long fallen asleep, and Kerrie was out of town for the weekend. So I just hung out there on the floor, perfectly flat, wondering what I should do.
Reader, I did the only thing I could do.
I watched YouTube.
I mean, thankfully I had my phone with me, which allowed me to search for videos on “how to get up off the floor when you have thrown out your back” but eventually it just turned into me watching a speed run of Mega Man 3, all while thinking, “Well, if they find me here someday, at least they’ll know I was entertained.”
- “Ninjarous” — Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse (w/ MF DOOM)
- “Give You What I Got” — Wendy Rene
- “Dixon’s Girl” (live) — Dessa & The Minnesota Orchestra
- “35” — La Dispute
- “Youlogy” — Shabazz Palaces
- “No New Tale to Tell” — Love and Rockets
- “Ambulance Blues” — Jeff Rosenstock & Laura Stevenson
- “Now I’m In It” — HAIM
- “The Seven” — Primus
- “Regal” — Noname
- “Help for Your Aching Back” — Land of the Loops
- “Old Five and Dimers Like Me” — Jerry Jeff Walker
- “Tommy in the 80s” — Beach Slang (w/ Tommy Stinson)
- “Money Folder (Four Ten Remix)” — Madvillain & Four Ten
- “Guardian Theme Breath of the Wild” — Makir
- “See See Rider” — Lightnin’ Hopkins
- “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me” — The Jayhawks
In the ‘60s, the Free Speech Movement famously told us to not trust anyone over 30, and I’m quickly discovering the same can be said for our bodies: don’t trust any movement over 40.
As I write this, it’s 5:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving. I’ve been up since 4, a victim of a fold-away bed and a newly troublesome back, and it’s too dark to find the pain relievers. But it’s not always my back. Today, my neck feels like someone stabbed a dull plastic spoon into the base of my skull. Sometimes, it’s my sense of balance — both because I’m clumsy (DIRECTOR’S NOTE: please make sure to insert a montage of Corey crashing on his bike right here) or because standing up too fast makes me light headed. Sometimes it’s the weird noises my body makes after eating chili. It’s really a crap shoot.
I joke, but only partially. It’s not the most attractive position to complain about getting old when you’re only 41, but here I am, bleary eyed and already ready for a nap. I’m writing blog posts and hiding from the news and looking at highlights from last night’s wrestling shows, but really I’d just like to have my body back together in a way that doesn’t feel like I’ve been betrayed.
Don’t think I haven’t tried, at least a little. Over the past few years, I’ve been more active than ever. But I’ve lost a step. Despite thousands of miles each year on my bike, I don’t get faster. My periodic forays into weight lifting and cross training are curtailed by new tweaks and fatigue. These are probably just excuses — I would still rather play Zelda: Breath of the Wild than go push weights around for 30 minutes — but they are also very real. It’s a sign of stubbornness that I haven’t heeded Kerrie’s pleas to strengthen my core and stretch more, but alas.
I say this all because I have a playlist for you. And because the sun is coming up.
And because now I can see without disturbing anyone, which means it’s time for me to find that ibuprofen, put away the foldaway bed, and form a plan for fitting as much food into my body as humanly possible.
Happy Thanksgiving, and enjoy the mixtape.