So far I feel that despite forty rapidly disappearing in the rear view mirror, I have been lucky enough to remain relatively youthful looking and to avoid most of the obvious issues that start to afflict us older gentlemen - I mean baldness and so on - but it's becoming obvious to me that a lot of that seemingly untouched outward appearance is really just increasingly thinly stretched paper covering over a growing number of growing cracks.
The other day we realised that we hadn't been to a dentist for ages and, as there is one on our street, we nipped in and made an appointment... wish I hadn't cos now I have four fillings and two more needed. I have lived my whole life without needing one single filling and then suddenly - bam! I need six of them? What, why? Liza puts it down to the sugary horror that is Sagres but I dunno, I fear it's just them all giving up the ghost at once with age.
But worse was to come. As part of the incredibly complex and labourious process of getting a Portuguese driving licence I had to go and have an eye test yesterday. Now I knew that my eyes had deteriorated quite a lot cos sometimes I find myself unable to read things that I'm sure I would managed in the past, and sometimes I have to ask someone else to read things for me which is a bit embarrassing if I am actually nearer than them. And I particularly struggle if there is writing that is lit up, or on a lighted background or whatever, in that situation things go all blurry and I just can't read them. In fact I think I remember a kind of in-between stage when I couldn't read that sort of thing properly but I could make out the general shape and thus ultimately work out the word, but now I can't even do that. So, yeah, I knew it was gonna be bad but.... well, it was a lot worse.
He kept asking me to read things and then saying how bad I was, kinda tutting and making me feel guilty. It was strange as though he seemed to blame me for my failings. Suppose I had been told to prepare for a test and i hadn't done it, yeah then it might be fair to blame me for my lack of knowledge, of even if i had been told to lower my cholesterol or lose weight or something, but failed, well again yes I could accept that there was some kind of causal relationship between my actions and my being unable to live up to his expectations. But as I see it, I don't think I have done something wrong to fuck up my eyes, I've just got old, yet from his tone as he kept saying "Not good.... very bad" and so on I found myself apologising repeatedly at first - and then I was kinda like "hang on". Also he kept saying "You gonna have problems with the licence with these mole like holes in your face" and then at the end he was like "Nah, it's fine, as long as you have one eye and that has sixty percent vision you're cool" prick. But that said, the news isn't good, apparently my right eye only sees at sixty percent and my left at seventy, which means I need glasses, but, what seemed to really concern him is he kept putting different lenses in front of my eyes and none of them helped as much as they ought to have done so he said that there is some kind of deeper problem and as a result I need to book an appointment with a proper eye doctor.
So yeah, old age, teeth are rotting and eyes are failing. But there could be more to come shortly cos - as I mentioned above - there are so many medical tests you have to take to change over the licence and if a simple eye test has shone such a depressing spotlight on the inexorable march of physical decay, then what am I going to find out from the blood test, urine test, chest x-ray and the electrocardiogram? Oh yeah, and the psychological evaluation...
I definitely need to start doing all the midlife crisis health stuff cos currently my body isn't fit for purpose.
Younger me didn't give a fuck about 35 year old me but now I AM 35 year old me and it's like being perpetually hungover.
Always got a cold. Always tired. Farting. Shitting something too hard, or too liquid, or too meagre. Can't be bothered to go out. Lie on the bed, watching documentaries on iPlayer. Add another book to the unread pile. Sentimental memories of idealised youth.
And I'm 34 FFS
If there is still a state and it still has pensions in 15 years time.
Unfortunately my attempts at fomenting anarchy have only yielded partial success so far. Which means on balance I am expecting there still to be a state and state pension in 2036.
I actually asked my "independent pnsion adviser" this question, more or less, when my former employers stitched up our pension plan - they of course answered very conservatively that assuming that society transformed into an anarchist utopia then fine, i wouldnt need a pension, but probably wise to invest just in case that doesnt transpire