Whenever I meet my maker, I’ll have two pressing questions at the ready.
1) Why are tooth size and palate size determined by two separate genes? Who approached you with THAT brilliant idea? Orthodontists?
2) Knees. Seriously?
I don’t actually expect answers. I’m not that much of an irreverent twit, or that bad of a Catholic, to think the Great Master Programmer in the Sky owes me an explanation. Also, evolution being what it is, the knees seem kind of necessary, at least at 6:55 in the morning, when I can’t very well locomote by dragging my hairy knuckles around the floor, because then I wouldn’t have one hand free for coffee.
But dag nab it, my left knee has been acting up lately. What a pain in the ass! Though technically it’s a pain in the genu, and no, I did not know that word until the Oracle of Google revealed it to me just now. Thanks to soccer and my damned bloody stupid (DBS) propensity for ignoring injuries, I have no one to blame for that knee but my own self. There are potholes in my cartilage that could snap the back axle on a Buick.
In any case, both the left knee and its less-crabby but still aggravating counterpart on the right like to remind me that I’m older than I was 30 years ago. No shit! I really am! The knees make me feel older than everything else about my body that telegraphs age, even the sagging bits and silver hair, because neither the the sags nor the melanin-deprived filaments sprouting from my head cause any actual physical pain. They don’t hurt when I stand after sitting, or when I sit after standing, or when I kneel, squat, plop down on the floor cross-legged, attempt a cossack dance or walk on pavement for eight hours a day six days straight, as I did a couple weeks ago in Edinburgh. Running is altogether out of the question, although I have been known to try it in short bursts of extreme DBS-ity and never fail to regret it. The most I do on a semi-regular basis is kick and juggle the soccer ball around with my kids, and even that puts that pissy little joint of mine in a problematic mood. It swells with anger afterward.
To combat it — when I remember — I swallow glucosamine tablets the size of my head, which might or might not work, but I’m leaning toward “might,” because even if they don’t work I want to believe they do work and thus coax from them a nice, agreeable placebo effect of almost-working. They certainly don’t hurt. As for the saggy and silvery bits, I ignore them.
Otherwise, I do love getting older. I love the way it gives me license to act like an eccentric old battle-ax and mouth off with random profanity at random moments while honking my nose into a crumpled tissue and reminiscing about the good old days of dial telephones (I HAD A PARTY LINE AS A KID, I SWEAR IT’S TRUE) and black-and-white TVs that got just one lone channel with crappy reception. I would much rather be this age than, say, 13, when the apex of my life was “Star Trek,” which aired every afternoon in reruns on the one lone channel with the crappy reception.
The sole thing I’d like to change, and probably will some day, is my left knee. I wouldn’t mind changing the right one, either. If I could go back in time, sneak up behind my younger self while she’s sitting cross-legged and drooling before a crappy monochromatic uni-channeled Captain Kirk, knock her unconscious, harvest a few cells from her knees, clone them, grow them in a petri dish, fortify them with multivitamins and motor oil, improve them with kick-ass bionic upgrades and then insert them into my legs, giving me not just painless knees but Super Mutant Turbo-Charged Nitro-Joints that bend painlessly and hit 90 on the NYS Thruway in 2.8 seconds, I would. But I can’t. Surgery isn’t quite there yet, though I’ve heard some Scandinavian doctors are getting pretty close. Maybe they can explain the mystery of the knees to me, if I ask nicely. But they still won’t know a thing about the teeth.