I celebrated my fiftieth birthday recently.
It has been a strange year thus far. Dear friends and important figures in my life have died, and other friends, way too many of them, have been diagnosed with serious and sometimes life threatening illnesses.
I’m not that fussed with numbers on a calender as it usually takes me a year to adjust to being a year older and I need to force my mind into mathematical configurations to figure out how old I actually am.
Other people were counting down fervently to the day, on my behalf, and there was much talk and planning of ‘special presents’ which I must admit I wasn’t averse to.
The day itself was initially lovely. Recognition, beautiful material objects, love and multiple face-book salutations (hey I’m human!). I have other things planned to celebrate the landmark, such as a trip to Tasmania, but these are months away so I kept the day low key and went to see the film ‘The Lobster’.
Meanwhile I was thinking, I’m going to like this decade.
I’ve reached a point where the loss and transformation of youthful beauty, has been assimilated and accepted. It still occasionally rankles, but I’ve balanced this dis-ease with a confidence and strength in my core self. As I have chosen, yes chosen, to be single so I can focus on my personal creative process, my looks are no longer a necessary tool to capture a mate, but rather an expression of who I am…someone I am very happy with.
Anyway, I went to the movie, and was the only one amongst my peers who enjoyed it. This was a little odd as I also was the only one of my peers who was single and ‘The Lobster’ was very much a surreal satire on the alienation and persecution of those with a ‘not in a relationship’ status.
The closing scene of the film was interrupted by the usher calling out that there was a medical emergency in the cinema, and asking if there was a doctor in the audience.
The theatre was a tiny independent one, and the only exit for the audience entailed filing past the body of a young girl, lying between the seats with a baseball cap covering her face.
A sad and strange ending to the day, but one that reiterated that life is so short and while I have it in my grasp, I am holding a treasure of great value.