My Physical

I’m alive and I’m free
Who wouldn’t wanna be me

Dr. Becker goes to more shows than I do.

We forget how many fans there are. Insiders stay in catering, conversing, whereas those who pay to get in, live for the music.

I know, I know, physicals are passe, you no longer need them.

Hogwash. Mitch diagnosed my leukemia. He said I should tattoo on my arm that I need a physical every year. Because you never know what will happen. Like that actor on that TV show, who died of an aortic aneurysm…even the worst doctor could have diagnosed that, but you’ve got to see the physician to begin with. As someone put it to me so eloquently, you can’t be too scared to get better.

And I am getting better, from my shoulder surgery, what an ordeal!

I went to Dr. Knapp last week and he said I was back on track. The visit before I was behind the curve. It was bad genes, I wasn’t that stretchy, he said to call my mother or father and blame them, if they were still alive.

My mom still is. She’s gonna be 90 in December.

And that’s what Mitch was talking about. The ninety year olds he takes care of. He says they adapt.

Which is hard for us boomers who think we’re gonna rule forever.

It’s the memory, it starts to go. I heard from an old classmate who caught me up on some of our high school brethren. I knew only half. My mother threw out my yearbooks so I can’t cross-check, but would I remember them anyway?

And Mitch starts talking about the inability to heal when we age and then he says he’d prefer that I no longer ski.


What if I fell?

Now I’m not one who likes to give up. Then again, it snowed in Vermont over the weekend and on Monday I watched videos of people skiing at Mad River and Jay Peak and I thought to myself…I might be unable to climb to the top of those mountains in the snow. You see the Gleevec I take, the main side effect is fatigue. It’s like someone has their hand on your shoulder, a heavy weight. I don’t feel it in regular life, but when I exercise?

But at least I’m alive.

Tom Hayden? How can he die?

The musicians, the political icons, they’re dropping like flies. It’s so weird, we thought this would never happen to us. But it is.

Mitch said he started on his bucket list at fifty.

That’s why I skied 53 days last year. Because I know I won’t be able to do it forever.

What will I be able to do forever?

What do I WANT to do forever?

That’s what they don’t tell you about aging, you no longer care. You’ve seen the trick, you realize no one is remembered and you wonder…what is life about?

All those movies hyped every weekend? If any of them are good, you’ll find out.

All those products being advertised?

You no longer need them, you need so little. I’m a hoarder, but for the first time in my life I could throw everything out. There will not be a museum of my life. And when I die, my heirs will just toss everything anyway.


So Mitch went to Desert Trip. He paid for the pit, and the dining experience too. And if you listened to him…

The people who went had a good time.

Because these are the best times in life, going to the show.

We thought it was about records, but now they’re secondary to the live experience.

I just heard Bon Jovi on Howard Stern. Did you see that commercial Jon’s in? Cringeworthy. Doesn’t he have enough money? And the new album is instantly forgettable. But when they set up and did “Bad Medicine,” I wanted to go to the show. How could they be that good in the AM? I was listening critically, was this really live? It was astounding.

And then I thought of “Wanted Dead Or Alive,” and its clone “Blaze Of Glory,” and “You Give Love A Bad Name,” and I realized not only was I a Bon Jovi fan, not only had I gotten over any bad reaction, but that I wanted to be inside the arena thrusting my arm in the air.

We all want to be inside the arena thrusting our arms in the air.

And when I was making an appointment for a phone call follow-up, to get my results, Jennifer told me she liked my piece about the Keith Urban show, SHE WENT!

I was astounded. She’s African-American.

But she lives for country.

I asked her how she discovered acts.

She said the Highway, on Sirius, as well as the local terrestrial station.

And I’m completely confounded. I write about country and there are crickets. My audience seems to be made up of old white men yearning for the days of classic rock, only into shoegazing artists today. Or youngsters. I’m supposed to write about what’s cool. Kanye and the Dirty Projectors. And when I write about Bieber the audience winces and…

Insiders are judging each other while the audience just can’t get enough of their chosen genre.

The more I learn the less I know.

But I do know that when Jennifer mentioned Keith Urban that led us into a discussion of Brett Eldredge, Little Big Town, Eric Church…there’s a whole subculture. I felt rooted, like I still cared, like I wanted to live forever.

Oh the sun is shinin’
And this road keeps windin’

Who wouldn’t wanna be me.

Who wouldn’t wanna be me – Spotify

P.S. Yes, he stuck his finger up my tush. I don’t know why guys have such a problem with this, or maybe Mitch just knows how to be gentle.

P.P.S. I want to be a doctor in my next life. I want to give back, take care of people. Because it’s only about people. And I’m fascinated by the science. Mitch was explaining how the blood flows, how it goes from your feet to your heart without a pump. How the arteries push with the pulse and there are valves and…it was all so fascinating!

P.P.P.S. Don’t take Protonix and don’t eat salt. That’s why you go every year, for the updates, which are frequently contrary to public opinion. Proton-pump inhibitors can cause dementia, although Mitch said I did not have it. He said you can tell by the way people talk. As for salt… His mother-in-law cut back and avoided congestive heart failure. I rarely salt anything, but Mitch said most prepared food comes with salt, because otherwise they can’t sell it, people don’t want it, even at Whole Foods.

P.P.P.P.S. I went to the eye doctor yesterday, he said within ten years I’d get cornea implants and I would see as well as I do with my contacts! Oh, what a wonderful world we live in.

“WATCH: Skiing Powder @MadRiverGlen In October”

“Watch: This Party Ski Down Jay Peak Yesterday Looks All-Time”

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