If you must age, do it disgracefully!
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Aging Dysgracefully By Nancy Gauquier.

I was Peter Pan,
or one of the lost boys,
or maybe Tiger Lily,
someone who would never grow old,
not I, excuse me, not me,
in the Neverland
of the naïve,

I sang right along thinking
that was all it took - believing,
Yes, I believe in fairies,
I do I do I do -

And Star Light, Star Bright,
First Star I See Tonight,
I Wish I May,
I Wish I Might,
Have This Wish Come True Tonight.

But so many didn't.
Now when I look in the mirror,
I would frighten any pirate,
turning to wrinkles and sighs,
as if I had swallowed a hyperactive clock,
ticking off the years,
I don't even see the ghost
of my mother anymore,
I see the ghost of my grandmother,
I liked her more than my mother,
but still -

This wasn't supposed to happen.
Brian Jones died,
Jimi Hendrix died,
Jim Morrison died,
Janis Joplin,
even Alan Watts died,
John Lennon died,
Alan Ginsberg died,
George Harrison died,
what am I doing still alive,

my spaced out, survived-all-the-drugs
body succumbing to the downer of gravity,
can't afford a face lift, boob lift,
facial treatments, expensive Hollywood creams,
antioxidants, herbs, calcium, xanax -

my sex life is a distant dream.
I love myself by default,
now that no one else will,
I've become so narcissistic,
spinning fantasies in which I'm always
young and irresistible.
In a half empty bed at night,
I reach for my book of Zen,

the Kama Sutra smoldering somewhere
under layers of dusty neglect,
not even altogether sure
I have any pc muscles left,
I console myself by remembering . . . .
Quaaludes, one night stands,
heroine addicts, the married man . . . .
independence isn't a curse,
it could be worse.

Now that I'm rapidly approaching
the chasm of old age,
I want to get it over with,
not even pretend or try to pass,
I want to dye my hair snow white,
become an old witch of wonder,
leap right into my second childhood,
I do I do I do believe
Star Light Star Bright
I'm not quite ready to die tonight -

But wait -
I've heard that when you die,
you wake up to find
yourself in your prime
and what I want to know is -
Can you have sex when
you're not in your body?
I mean, how could you tell?

Oh, well.
Let's face it.
I'm not aging gracefully,
not much of a future that I can see,
not much social security,
I'll never be able to retire,
I'll work myself into the grave
or the fire,
limping into each new day,
avoiding mirrors like a vampire,
only they never age.

Wish I was at least a sage,
deep in wisdom and sure,
above-it-all and pure,
calm and inwardly peaceful and strong,
instead of lamenting the years along:
What went wrong?

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