I have a huge dose of the crank today. It may be because I spent the afternoon chatting with an old friend from The OC, found out a big mixed bag of news (most of it not good), and communally cried over the loss of things we both loved about growing up in Anaheim. I suspect maybe my last piece of childhood innocence may have gotten killed on that phone call.
The place I grew up has changed, and the place I moved to and loved in my early 30’s has changed, too… and when I’m REALLY old and grey I won’t recognize either one I suspect. And that really upsets me: I want things to change for the better, not for the worse, and all I feel anymore is the wind continuing to smell foul when it blows.
I suspect the winds of this change were already blowing when I was a teenager. Anaheim was never as idyllic as perhaps I thought it was, Portland was always a little too hip for its britches back at the turn of the century when I moved there. 1 Recent events in Anaheim harken back to its history (not only the written history, but the verbal history passed to me by my maternal adopted family) of Ku Klux Klan. Today it is different only in which side the Klan is on, not their presence in Anaheim’s ever-evolving story. From German utopia, to Klan-controlled, to the Autopia designed by a mouse, to the auto-centric city of my childhood, and who knows where it will go. Maybe ARTIC will undue the freeway snarls (ha, yeah, that’ll happen). Maybe. Around the time Portland becomes affordable again.
Ultimately this is likely the fact that I’m getting old. My beard is now salt-and-pepper, and now and then I find a silver strand in my otherwise dark-brown-to-black hair. I’ve already noticed I’m getting less tolerant, more gruff, and certainly grumpier. My normal humorous curmudgeonly exterior is becoming darker and more sinister.
I’m becoming an old man.
How ironic it is to this soul that seems. And it feels… a bit scary. I don’t want to be that old man sitting on the bench at Pearson Park I remember from my childhood, feeding the birds from a loaf of bread grumbling about this, that, or the other thing (I remember rants ranging from Jimmy Carter to the teardown of the Fox Theater). I want to stay vibrant and ever changing.
I want to keep growing. And not for the worse.