The only disappointment I have about the future I am living in is the absence of the flying car. All the cartoons I was fed as a child made me believe that zooming from A to B in a rounded mobile that flew over the city would be a reality in 2010. I remember sitting around and counting with my fingers how old I would be at the turn of the century – it seems that, even as a child, I was already obsessed with age.
Other than the flying car, the future has exceeded all expectations. And my life has taken a turn I would have not imagined while sitting at my desk, in the study room, slaving over homework. Not that I ever pondered what life would be like a day past 40 with my parents, and their crowd, being the only example I knew. Let’s be honest, as much as I love my parents, they did not possess an ounce of hipness at 30, let alone 40.
At times I feel like life in this strange city I really didn’t choose to live in but that, somehow, chose me is so full of incongruities and trappings I could probably be better off without. Let’s take the day that is just finishing. In a perverse ritual, I appointed July as the medical check up month so this morning I was sitting in my doctor’s waiting room, next to an aging rock star who was wearing more make up, way more make up, than me. I suppose rock stars also get sick and need doctors – still it was odd to share germs with a man whose sell by date shouldn’t warrant jeans so tight they made his breathing an impossibility. Either that or he was seeing the doc for emphysema. Me, on the other hand, I haven’t had a cold since I last saw my trusted MD but I like to go once a year and be told that my aging body is still performing decently.
I then rewarded myself with lunch with a girlfriend. I stood on the pavement and asked my phone to call her to check her eta – then I connected with the Santa Monica WiFi and looked for the restaurant I had in mind. Time elapsed: 40 seconds. There is no way I could have imagined any of this 20 years ago. And I bet Al Gore didn’t either.
After lunch the sun had decided to make an appearance and we strolled on the boardwalk – then slightly giddy and despite wearing the wrong clothes, we took our shoes off and let our feet sink in the warm sand and walked all the way to the freezing water, excited like two kids skipping school. In the fog of my 20’s, I actually imagined my 40’s being spent in a rambling house by the ocean – the locale varied, depending on what book I was reading. It could have been a Wuthering Heights style manor in Cornwall, an hacienda on a tropical island or a Cape Cod cottage on the Atlantic. Los Angeles was never in the picture.
That the most memorable moment of this day was to dip my feet in the sand only goes to show that, deep down, I haven’t changed that much. The sound of the ocean, the warmth of the sand and a pile of books is what I really want. Well, an iPhone to order the books with is nice too. I will do without the flying car though.