Tuesday, July 5, 2011


"When I was a young man, only my mind was degenerate." -- Philip Hellsten (1952-2009)

At 0500 on the 4th of July, I decided to soothe my injured hip in the jacuzzi.  So I hobbled over there and was surprised to find two 20ish lads lounging poolside.  They were smoking cigarettes and drinking a concoction of orange juice and most probably vodka.

After I turned the jets on and sat down in the swirling water, one of them said to me "Do you usually get up this early?"

I replied that it was an old habit from years of commuting long distances in the SF Bay Area.  Getting up very early was the only way to avoid traffic jams.

Somewhat apologetically,  my new acquaintance said "I'm usually in bed by 10 o' clock -- I never do this."

Yes, indeed.  But there was no reason to regret it, I thought.  Looking at myself, having finally broken my body from years of long-distance running, I reminisced about the age when I could party all night and not feel too bad afterwards. In a flashing memory -- I believe the kind that people who are falling to their death experience -- I recalled myself stay up sixty-five straight hours in 1981.  It had to do with partying all night with my girlfriend on a Friday, and then performing with a band at a party on The Queen Mary the next evening.  I was 21 at the time.  At the end of it all, I did feel tremendously tired, but I was able to do it --  I don't think I could now.

I didn't bother telling the lads that they would eventually lose their endurance -- that would be "No Fun," as Iggy Pop once sang.

As they were leaving, the other asked me "Is it beer-thirty yet?"
"Yes," I retorted -- "Definitely time for another one!"