Facebook has this great way of reminding me that I’m aging a faster than I can stop to live in the moment without feeling like I’m missing out on something. Today on my news feed some asshole decided to inform me the album Out of Time by R.E.M. was released twenty-five years ago today. Thank you Mark Zuckerberg for that kick in the balls, the grey hairs on my chest weren’t startling enough.
Twenty-five years! That’s nearly half my life!
I could sit back and ask myself where the time went, but I know where it went; some of it was good, some of it was bad, but all of it seems compressed into a ZIP file that expands whenever my brain clicks on by accident, taking up on my internal hard drive that I need to delete or compress again to make room for the future.
Last week I convinced myself that I was turning 50 this year. It was one of those random questions that run through my mind while I’m riding my bike to work: “How old am I again?” I did the math in my head and came up with the number 50 surprising the hell out of me. I had to stop my bike, pull out my phone, and subtract the years from each other. There it was my age: 50. It was like thinking you’re a Libra all your life only to find out you’re a Scorpio.
I promised to take myself to Hawaii when I turned 50. I got the idea from an old fuck-buddy of mine, the idea being “Hawaii-Five-Oh”. There’s no way I could do it this year; I’ve set some unreasonable financial goals for myself and with the Canadian dollar the way it is, the US is not the ideal travel destination for a single gay guy with a mortgage.
This morning I told my sister my realization and she said, “You’re not 50 you idiot, you’re only 49!” I told her I did the math on a calculator and she reminded me that I was born in 1967 not 1966. “You have another year to save for Hawaii.”
I don’t know if should be concerned that I’m so shitty at math I can’t subtract two whole numbers or relieved that I don’t dwell on my age enough that I forgot the year I was born. I’ll go with the latter, it makes me feel less stupid.
It doesn’t change the fact it seems like only yesterday that I bought Out of Time on cassette at A&B Sound on Seymour Street and listened to it while I smoked a joint, dancing around my apartment on Harwood Street like Michael Stipe in the video for “Losing My Religion” while I got dressed to wait tables at a restaurant on Robson Street.
I feel the need to say it’s not depressing that 25 years have passed since the first time I heard “Out of Time” on a cassette on a secondhand boom box that was missing buttons, but fascinating that now I’m listening to it on my iPad using the Spotify app.
Still, I would love to know whatever happened to that cassette and where it is now. Whichever landfill it ended up in, I’m sure it will be here long after I am.