This week on Jack gets personal...

yeah, ok.

I remember distinctly the first time I ever felt old. Now, I'm not old; I'm 25, in the prime of my life as they (not I) say and I don't think I'll ever really be old, not in the 'get off of my goddamned lawn' sense, but I distinctly remember the first time I realized what it must feel like if it ever were to happen.

I was sitting in a bar, since closed, on Manhattan's Lower East Side. It was 4:30 in the morning and I was, well. You know. The place wasn't empty, but it was empty enough. Cheap Trick was playing on the bar sound system, my glass was suddenly and conspicuously full for such a late hour and I was contemplating hauling my ass out to one of the ambulance chasers cruising down the street like sharks.

(Sidenote: I know that 'ambulance chaser' as a term generally refers to unscrupulous members of the legal profession, but in New York City the symbolism is slanted in a different direction and more literally: if you ever see an emergency services vehicle speeding down the street with its lights on and siren blaring, it can be guaranteed that there will be a column of taxis cruising in its wake, taking advantage of its unique ability to clear traffic and open hitherto unknown express lanes. Hence ambulance chasers, at least in my head. Just, you know, so you get the metaphor.)

Anyway. So I'm sitting there, waiting for the last call notice that inevitably comes on Thursday nights, when Cheap Trick fades out and something sublimely fucked up happens.

DUM da-da da-da da-DUM da daaaaa...
DUM da-da da-da da-DUM da daaaaa...

And Kermit starts asking himself questions, strummin' his banjo, from his log in the swamp. Or his lily-pad. Whichever.

I kill my drink and, what the hell, I sing along. My glass gets filled again at no cost to me by a dear friend who, like the bar, is also no longer with us (he left the country before he was deported, and it killed me a little) and I look around at these barely (or not even) legal kids around me, looking at me like I'm a fucking anachronism. That, combined with the cognitive dissonance of singing a song from your childhood in a bar when you're entirely fucking plastered, was enough, just that once, to make me wistful.

As strange as it was, part of me is just begging for something like that to happen again. Next time, if there is a next time, I'll be ready.

Thanks in no small part to bexxta, who allowed the memory to surface.

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