It’s been a strange day for me. Well, a strange month really. Last month was high and exciting as I got married and we had a great Christmas, and new year fresh start, but February has been different. I turn 40 on Friday. Everyone says its not old and all that, but I mean really, its old. At the best, I’m nearing the middle of my life. Like most folks I figure, I haven’t reached the heights I always assumed I would. Which is fine, life is a challenge, nothing is over till its over and all that, but one cannot help but feel more sand has passed through the hour glass then I’d like.
My little Lucky dog is indeed heading towards his last roundup and seemingly sooner than I. He’s knocking on 14 with bladder problems and a tumor he’s chewed open on his leg. The vet charged me three hundred bucks to tell me he’s not diabetic and might need his bladder stitched and tucked a bit, probably a two thousand dollar procedure. The main catch there is that I’m pretty far down on the financial gains scale and I don’t even have health insurance myself. My new wife is gonna add me to her fancy health insurance plan but that doesn’t do much for my pup who has to wear diapers. Sometimes it’s an actual dog diaper, other times its and old t-shirt of mine safety pinned around him.
The biggest problem is that he’s gonna pass away and I’m not ready. He’s known me since I was twenty-six. He remembers me the way I used to be. What’s that mean exactly? I don’t know, but it feels like something. Lucky’s predecessor was a little Beagle dog named Ginger that I got when I was 17. I grew up in a trailer park so I couldn’t have a dog or cat. My family moved our mobile home to our own permanent lot when I was in High School and that meant dog ownership for me. Ginger was amazing, she was there for everything. She lived to be 17 years old and passed away on my daughter’s fourth birthday. I wasn’t ready to let go. I’m not ready now. The whole thing seems madeningly unfair. My wife is aware that I may have to do the unthinkable with Mr. Lucky and load him up into my car and drive him to the vet to be chemically put to sleep. I honestly can’t fathom that emotional toil. My wife is afraid he will suffer and I don’t want that. I just wish he could regenerate into a new body like Doctor Who. Crap like that messes with my mind. 40 years of all geek, all the time takes a hammer to your real life expectations.
Today would have marked the 50th birthday of Kurt Cobain. How the hell weird does that feel? The Generation X poster child for grunge rebellion, with his flannel shirts and Chuck Taylor’s would be 50! I can look back and see all those videos on MTV for the first time, all my friends getting the c.d. with the baby on the cover chasing the dollar. I swear that feels like it was just yesterday.