I’m writing this in the last few moments before I turn 59.
Fifty fucking nine to put a point on it.
That’s right I have, I’m more than a little saddened and chagrined to say, just completed yet another circuit around the sun.
Being 59 in advertising, well, you might just as well be a Stegosaurus or have sprung from the earth around the same time as boulders.
On the one hand, I know that when Mozart was my age, he was dead for 24 years. On the other, I know creative people routinely produce some of their greatest work in their 80s or even 90s.
I am as old as dirt.
Eisenhower was President when I was born.
There were 48 states.
We had proper winters back then with galoshes and snow.
Shit. We used words like galoshes.
It’s not easy being older than everyone around you, every day and in every meeting.
Even though I have an abundance of energy and probably produce more work and solve more problems than anyone, there are days when I feel positively Cro Magnon.
I suppose I could lose some avoirdupois, dye my hair, sport a soul patch and a tat and start lying about things. Maybe I’d last longer if I did. Maybe I’d feel less-estranged and less the odd-man-out.
I could call co-workers ‘Brahs.’
And drink Pabst Blue Ribbon the second-time-around, this time with irony.
As Popeye said, ‘I yam who I yam.’
When they kick me to the curb, or in the pained parlance of Willy Loman, ‘eat the orange and throw away the peel,’ well, what can you do?
This is a business where you’re old at 30, and I’m practically double that.
Eventually they’ll have their way with me. They’ll tire of my idiosyncrasies and they’ll hand me my walking papers.
I’ll be the old gunslinger, going out not in a hail of bullets but with a whimper. Like MacArthur, fading away.
Until then, I’m gonna keep writing.
With any luck, better than anyone.