The Shadow of Age

Sebastien and I have only been married for 6 months, but we have aged considerably since the wedding.

Strange sounds now emanate from our bodies, we get up to urinate in the middle of the night far more frequently than we used to and I get way too excited when I start to think about shower curtains.

I didn’t know how much getting married was going to change me. My wedding day was one of the saddest days of my life because it reminded of my own mortality. I felt my bones creak and settle that night as I fell asleep beside Sebastien and my whole future flashed before me.

Now I have to be responsible and get a job and pay bills and clean the apartment and be neighborly and go to bed at a reasonable hour and make a grocery shopping list–OK, I’ll admit that I’ve enjoyed making grocery lists since I was a kid.

But I’m not ready for all of that other stuff.

I want to get more tattoos or go to an Ozzy Osborne concert or sit around and smoke cigarettes with friends while we tell dirty jokes, or skip school to indulge in various illegal activities, but I don’t think anyone in my age range does that anymore. And if I sought out other people with similar interests, it would just make me the weird middle-aged person who hangs out with 18 year olds. I knew a guy like that when I was a teenager, and we only kept him around because he would buy us alcohol.

I’ve tried to fit in to this new role as an adult, but it just doesn’t feel right. And I look at Sebastien and see the same anxiety on his face. We are constantly reminding one another of doctor’s appointments and share weekly recaps of all of our ailments.

But I suppose that despite all of our fatal diseases, it is comforting to know that I am not alone.

After Sebastien’s last doctor’s appointment I asked if he wanted to go out for ice cream. He shook his head no. “It’s not good for my diabetes,” he said.

“You have diabetes?” I said.

“I think so.”

“But you can’t have diabetes now,” I said. “I just got over skin cancer last week.”

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About JadedBride

Amy Kraft is a print and radio journalist based in New York. Her work has appeared in publications including Scientific American, Discover, Popular Science, The Week, Psychology Today, and Distillations, a podcast out of the Chemical Heritage Foundation. She is currently working on a book of humor essays. View all posts by JadedBride

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