Admit it. Most of you are staying in some crap job, that you hate, or are striving to attain some job with a good pension or 401K for that one shining prize…retirement. This last week I have had nothing to do. What can I say, archaeology is slow right now. I have been sitting at home, watching unhealthy amounts of Net TV and sleeping. It is MADDENING! I am going slowly insane, and honestly that’s a pretty short trip for some of us. The real kicker; its only been a week. I don’t know what I’m going to do come, like what, eighty I guess; that’s when retirement will be for my generation right? If this week has been any indicator I will be full-on nuts within a month. You want a somewhat accurate glimpse at what that will be like; just watch The Shining with Jack Nicholson. I mean I may even still be writing this freakin’ novel, only it won’t be as coherent and as well versed as ol’ Jack’s.
You know, I used to have this neighbor at the end of my street. This dude was an old man that scared all the little kids to death. I swear to you that he sat by his front door windows, in the shadows, and waited for someone to set a misplaced toe on one blade of his grass. He would run out of his house screaming like you had taken liberties with his wife while shitting in his cereal. This guy threatened to take my bike away and crush it in the garbage truck one day; I was terrified. Now though, I realize that this guy merely had nothing else to do. The poor bastard probably had to choose between daytime TV and waiting to scare the souls out of little defenseless children. Not much of a choice really. After this week I have to almost admire the guy’s dedication to his unwilling past time.
I just don’t know how some people do it. Honestly, I look at the situation with my distant Uncle. The guy got up every morning and went down to the Y and did laps in the pool. Then he went to work at his gear manufacturing company (think Spacely Sprockets, only he was Mr. Spacely). He would work ‘till like noon when he would go do executive lunches and meetings. Yet, he would still have time to get ripped like an Irish sailor with my then young adult dad at night, before driving home and passing out in his mansion. The next day the cycle would repeat. Now, he turned his company over to his board of directors at the age of eighty-five and died two days later. Some would look at that like my uncle worked himself to death. Personally, I think work may have been making life worthwhile enough to keep on going.
I might enjoy retirement if I could find something cool to do with myself. My wife had an uncle who raced stock cars on the weekends. Well, one weekend he wins this really big race. On his victory lap, after he has crossed the finish line, he has a massive heart attack and dies in his moment of sweet glory. Hands down the best death I have ever heard of. My wife thinks it was horrible because he was still relatively young. My opinion, what if the rest of that guys life was nothing but a gentle downhill slide into senility and regret? I like the whole idea of going out on top.
I guess the role model I should really be looking at is my grandfather. The guy retires from the air force and what does he do? (Throat clearing) He builds a house, gets a masters in education, studies to take the BAR exam, gets a real-estate license, goes on virtually pro-level seniors golf tours, learns about computers and the internet, takes piano lessons and is still finding more and more things to occupy himself. The guy is squeezing more life into what most would consider the finale days than some people ever do…ever. Inspiring stuff.
Still, I don’t know if I’m that much of a self-starter. Maybe…naw. No, I think, if this week has been any kind of indicator. I am going to have to find myself a good comfortable chair to sit in while keeping watch out my window, and waiting for some little bastard to set foot on my property. Only there will be less bluster and more actual bike smashing I think. People hate empty threats.