Resident April 2013.pdf
144 • Resident April 2013 It’s not the advancing gray hair that tells me I’m aging. It isn’t even repeating the mantra “What…what?” if I’m listening to someone with more than two other people talking around them. It’s gas. There…I’ve said it.In my formative years, unlike most male adolescents, I was equally bewildered and enraged at why my old man would simply emit thunder when I could clandestinely emote with virtuoso control. At 20, I could handle gas like a breast; gingerly, but with just enough force to show us both whom was boss.Then gradually my instrument, to extend the metaphor, began to betray me, first alone in bed. Sure, being solo, I could tee off, to mix metaphors. But one has to practice. It was there that my performance began to slip…or slip out, like a catcher bobbling a knuckle ball. Initially, I thought it simply an isolated error. Then, one day, I was walking down the sidewalk, making sure no one was less than ten yards behind me (always courtesy), and I parted with what I thought would be a whisper. To my surprise, it turned out to be a windowpane rattler. The poor kid in the Orbit stroller behind me was so scared he spit out his Cheerios. That example was a foreshadow of the ill wind that truly blows no good. Today, my instrument has so betrayed me I won’t even attempt an Evel Knievel like stunt of cajoling one out while I’m in bed as an invited guest. Hard to imagine given the subject matter of this column, I know. But every once in a while that blue moon does shine.I will confess this had me in a bit of a funk, especially when I told my doctor, whose words of consolation were “why do you think they call old men “old farts? You age, you fart more.” Okay, it wasn’t a terminal diagnosis. But did he need to be that blunt? Then, there was an epiphany. I was walking by Pier One at 65th Street and Third Avenue, which in retrospect seems a fitting place for an ah-ha moment on this matter, and had to fire the after burner. I didn’t even think. I just let it rip. And I noticed something even more unsettling. I didn’t care.
BBBBBBBBBBBRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAPPP.Even typing it feels satisfying. Have I become my old man, who, perhaps, with each trumpet of methane was saying, “Time is passing. I’m going to make most of it.” Was his clarion call a metaphor that with each tone demanded focus on what matters for the inevitable is neigh? Not exactly the connection I’d hoped to my father, but you take enlightenment where you find it. And my old man may not have been as eloquent as Dylan Thomas’ “The Force That Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower” with his “and here’s one for the West Coast” schtick, still both premises are sound. Okay, one is more onomatopoetic. I feel compelled to work through this for a more rigorous answer, but I polished off two Sabrett hot dogs with sauerkraut and onions for lunch. Soon I will be doing my own raging against the dying light, if I may be so egotistical as to compare myself to Dylan Thomas. My apologies to Al Gore for this inconvenient toot and taking pleasure in contributing to climate change, but I must stand, or lift, by my old man. Pop, this one’s for you. By Ed. Druckman