It’s not the years. It’s the mileage. Friday night at age almost-52 isn’t the same as it was at age 25.
Then: Work until the stroke of 5; bolt.
Now: Work until the stroke of 4; suit up for driveway 1-on-1 with 12-year-old son, aka The Fouling Machine.
Now: Stake out a spot on the lanai and wait for wife to get home from meeting with design client. Offer her a beer; ask her if she got paid any money.
Then: Three beers in, marvel at the lower-body shapeliness of once-ignored law school classmate who now works at another firm. Where were those skirts in Con Law class? All I saw was Gonzaga basketball sweats.
Now: One beer in, take in a gander of wife’s dangerous curves in a golf skort as she pauses to yank a few weeds while walking around garden with dog.
Then: Combine forces with one or two colleagues/former classmates, also necktied buffoons, to persuade a trio of well-dressed, half-besotted females to head out with us to overpriced Shadyside jazz bar and restaurant for appetizers and more alcohol abuse.
Now: Pepperoni or just cheese, 14-inch or how hungry are we anyway, and why do I always have to call?
Then: Over overpriced desserts that no one can taste by this time, begin the boozy process of an attempted cozy-up to the one with the auburn hair and that laugh.
Now: What, you want another shoulder massage?
Then: With that laugh (at the thought that I ever believed I had a chance) echoing in my ears, get stuck with the check.
Now: What do we have from Netflix? I could stay up for awhile, if you are.
Then: Pilot a beat-up, yellowish Chevy Nova, all I could afford and culturally beneath me, through the streets of the East End in an impaired condition. Sitting at a light at Beechwood Boulevard and Forbes Avenue, remember that I live in Swissvale, not Squirrel Hill.
Now: About midnight, cork any remaining wine (ha!), turn out lights, set alarm system, and pad upstairs, followed by faithful dog.
Then: Drop onto waterbed half-dressed, alone, doze off into snore-y slumber.
Now: Hey…private, y’know?
Then: Wake up about 11; remember I had planned to go to office. Scramble for aspirin and water.
Now: Wake up at 7, take dog out, scramble eggs.
Then: Excitement, of a kind.
Now: Satisfaction, of all kinds.