It’s fear of death

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

I always used to say, “If you want to know if anyone is reading your column, write that your dog killed your bird.” I’ll now amend that to, “… write that you are splitting with your significant other of 12 years.”

Thanks, everyone, for your kind thoughts and e-mails. Believe me, we’re both adults, and we’ll be all right. Hunter’s well-being is our first priority, and we’ll be careful with that.

Along parallel lines, Kat Kerlin, the special projects editor here, suggested I am in the middle of a midlife crisis. It’s a sort of interesting thought. It is a crisis, but I didn’t buy any expensive convertible—to hear Kat enumerate my changes over the last year, I probably should have. Let’s see: I lost 40 pounds and put on a bunch of muscle definition. I had my eyes lasered. I bought my ex out of the house. I shaved my beard because it had too much gray in it. I bought a motorcycle—OK, two. And then there’s the yoga and meditation. She tries to factor in my month-long vacation to Uruguay, but that was planned long before my boring little life changes began.

So. Hmm. What do you think? Think there’s such a thing as situation-induced midlife crisis? It seems every single couple I know has recently gone through a rough patch lately. I’d like to say that it’s age-related, in other words, we’re all of an age where certain biological things are happening—decreasing testosterone, decreasing estrogen—but really, my friends are of widely varying ages, financial situations and political philosophies. There’s not a lot to tie us together.

As we moved the upstairs furniture downstairs so that my ex-honey would have an easier time moving it to the moving van the following morning, and in reference to my shiny new motorbike, I told her, “I think this is the end of the new and improved Brian—at least the commercial aspects of it.”

Well, except I might need some new pipes on the bike.