Thursday, October 19, 2006

Morbid - moi?

Oscar Wilde used to wear black on his birthday, to mourn "the loss of another year of my youth". (Or was it "the loss of another of my youths this year"? No, I think the former.)

I know how he felt.

A lady friend was indelicate enough to ask me yesterday how old I was going to be. I chided her: "A man shouldn't ask; a woman doesn't tell! A woman shouldn't ask; a man LIES!"

It also put me in mind of the celebrated anecdote about the journalist who had scored a major interview with retired screen idol Cary Grant (then living in the South of France, I believe), but forgot to ascertain the great man's age during their conversation, and tried to rectify the omission afterwards by sending him a telegram with the question,"HOW OLD CARY GRANT?"

He received the reply,"OLD CARY GRANT FINE. HOW YOU?"

Anyway, I am a little glum about my birthday today. These days, the years seem to be not so much advancing... as charging at me headlong with bayonets fixed.


A rueful smile meets
Milestones on the road to death:
Unwelcome birthdays.

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