I’m not aging like a fine red wine. No, sir. Quite the contrary. My cork is compromised, and I’m smelling more like vinegar … or is it urine? Let me explain …
When I was much younger, we used to run until we vomited. Out there in the Oregon woodlands, we opened her up for miles on end. At the end of the course, whoever wasn’t puking their guts out didn’t try hard enough, your typical collegiate machismo. Nowadays, I can’t reach that threshold. My legs give out, my lungs, and just the other day it was my bladder. That’s right, in the humidity and heat of North Carolina, I went on a run, and was eventually faced with two options: 1) Duck into someone’s backyard and relieve myself; or 2) keep on trucking like back in the day … and relieve myself. Option number one came with thoughts of cops and subsequent judges. Option two came with shame and a quick load of laundry. In the end, the decision was relatively easy. Fortunately, there wasn’t much foot traffic, just me and my wet britches hogging the sidewalk. Someone honked, presumably the same fine gentleman with an I-honk-for-dummies sticker affixed to his bumper. I’d like to think that I brightened up his day. His wife may have left him, his wallet empty, but at least he wasn’t no dumb sonofabitch with wet-assed britches running in this god-awful heat. Or perhaps the honk was from a neighbor wishing to bid adieu, who knows. Either way, my kids found this hilarious, dad standing there in his running shorts, a big wet spot where his dignity used to be.
Ten or so years ago there would have been lies instead of confessions. A sprinkler or a water balloon right to my manhood, blam! But I’m over that now. I’m not perfect, never was, and never will be. I’ve also peed in the pool, there I’ve said it. Some nights I snore. Feta cheese gives me gas. I cry at sappy movies, and then hate myself for it afterwards. And yes, I’ve lied about the tears. There was something in my eye, blah blah blah, you know the drill.
I blame my shame on Superman. We watch him in the movies, admire him, want to be him. But ultimately, we all fall short. Each and every one of us is slower than a speeding bullet, less powerful than a locomotive, and can barely leap from bed in the morning, let alone the tallest building.
And while my kids might be older, and no longer see the big S on my chest, I’m still going to throw on my cape and imagine. So go ahead and honk for dummies, who cares. I’ve got miles to soar, and I’m not quite there yet. Although, you may smell me when I get there, the stink of vinegar, urine, or worse, oh my!