|A Honda 750 4-pipe: my bike 30 years ago|
When I was young, I never really believed I would die. I was, in my heart of hearts, not just immortal but invincible. As an example, I used to ride a big motorbike along De Waal Drive, which is an old, very winding freeway along the face of Table Mountain in Cape Town. Drunk. And I survived, idiot that I was, to tell the tale.
But over the last few years, I have had several warnings from Ἀργυρότοξος Ἀπόλλων ( Silver-bowed Apollo) A heart-attack scare, a cancer scare, decaying knees, gut problems, The sore knees won't kill me (I hope!) but they're just another sign of wear and tear. And tiredness, I used to have abundant energy. Now I seem to need more sleep in the day, but can't get a decent night's sleep at night. Boring.
Yet I might live for another 30 years. Who knows? These days I live as I did then, from day to day. Then because each day's fun was immediate and thrilling. Now because I don't know when it'll all end, and since there's sweet FA I can do about it, I might as well get on with life. The deep depression I endured after Henrik died is past. All the same, I'm still not joyful, as I was then. I miss the insensate joy of those days 30 years ago, driving too fast on a sharply curving road along a very steep mountain, drinking too much without ill effect, staying up till all hours, sleeping with unsuitable people, finding out about literature, music, art, cinema, talking intensely with other people about the meaning of life. But I am still alive, for now, and there is still beauty and interest in the world, despite everything.