Older than God

(Bruce Van Dyke is on vacation. This column originally ran April 3, 1996.)

I am getting old, wobbly and undeniably decrepit, and hey—it’s a beautiful thing.

Well, OK, it’s more accurate to say I’m getting middle-aged and finding out that it’s nice, pleasant, sedate, calm and very conducive to videos, gardening and a good night’s sleep.

The sleep thing is a major sign that one is gently moving beyond the stupendously insane, suck-the-worm-out-of-the-mescal-bottle days of youth. You catch yourself lecturing, with the same fervor that you used to advocate the benefits of nightclubs, the benefits of a good night’s sleep. Warren Zevon wrote a song back in the ’70s called “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead.” It used to be cool, but now, it’s obviously a wrong-headed tune, written by a man who was, no doubt, suffering from acute insomnia.

I’m sure he’s embarrassed by that one, now that he is middle-aged and not just taking naps, but looking forward to them. [Editor’s note: Or actually sleeping.]

There are other, equally indisputable, signs of middle-agedness popping up. I go into a mild panic when I run out of psyllium products. I can’t eat bacon without thinking about cancer of the stomach. I know I will never do a bungee jump off a bridge at midnight, and I could care less. I read a lot of golf magazines. The darn pee spots are getting’ out of hand. Hats are more important now than they were 10 years ago.

When a rock band gets on stage and declares that they plan to play “all night long,” I boo and jeer with all the laryngeal gusto I can muster. Nuts to the sonic endurance test, guys, play a few good ones, and then let’s get outta here!

Speaking of “all night long,” when I used to hear singers croaking all that macho jive about making love “until the morning light,” I have to admit, I bought into it with all the wide-mouth credulity of youth. Now, I have to laugh. Making love for eight hours sounds like a highly abrasive torture to my increasingly hair ears, friend. I can barely imagine the KY bill for such a session. You show me a couple who’s gonna boink all night long, and I’ll show you a couple with a methamphetamine problem. Let me tell it like it really is: Lovemaking is best when it starts out slow, builds to a feverish, Tarzan/Jan jungle crescendo AND THEN BOTH PARTIES GO TO SLEEP! A deeply blissful, utterly spent, after-glowonic, spattered-in-all-kinds-of-juices sort of sleep. Laid out and splayed out, with goofy grins plastered upon each conked and zonked face.

OK, gotta go. That’s Entertainment, Part Three just came on, and these days, I don’t blow off movies featuring Cyd Charisse.