turning 66 and meeting the trans new me

DARE I WRITE THIS? I sup­pose I’d best: yes­terday was my 66th birthday—I’ve made it this far! This is no big deal to those who have known the West Coast ver­sion of me: staid and rather pre­dictably un­ad­ven­turous. Boring, in fact. (But con­sid­erate, no matter what my ex says!)

But to those who know only the old East Coast ver­sion of me, and re­member the wild and woolly ’70s when I was over-busy sewing my wild odes, may be sur­prised that I have made it to this stage.

 

I looked in the mirror and saw a beast with seven heads with ten horns looking back at me!

 

And I was pre­dictably boring on my birthday, spending most of it farting around with a new look for my web­sites, working on writing on too many ar­ti­cles at once, put­tering around the house (mostly as­sisting my neighbor Tom Fitzgerald di­ag­nose the un­well­ness plaguing my air con­di­tioning unit), and gen­er­ally bitching and moaning about the weather!

So I woke up this morning and made my usual mug of coffee with two parts Cafe Bustello with one part Peet’s French Roast and laced it with a gen­erous dollop of light brown sugar. Then I went to my com­puter and looked for some thinking music on YouTube.

Today it was the At­tacca Quartet per­forming Joseph Haydn’s Quartet in C Major, Opus 76, Number 3—popularly re­ferred to as the “Em­peror Quartet.” (Give it a listen and you’ll know why.)

Then I vis­ited Face­book. I had spent hours there yes­terday thanking each friend who had ex­tended a birthday greeting to me, but still had a few late ar­rivals. I typed in the final “thank you” and then no­ticed the number of birthday posts that I had re­ceived and there it was—666 birth­days notifications!

I’m not a be­liever, but that un­nerved me. Then I opened Out­look to check my email and saw the number of un­opened mes­sages (high­lighted in bold type) in the first three cat­e­gories in the panel on the left side of Outlook.

Inbox total:              6
Clutter total:            6
Junk Email total:    6

Got that? 666 again.

Spooky, no?

It gets worse: right below those three num­bers was Deleted Items. Guess how many …

666.

Uh oh.

Sud­denly I was 12-years-old again and taking Cat­e­chism classes every Thursday af­ter­noon, lis­tening to hoary old nuns prattle on about this and that and dogma and God and Heaven and Jesus and Mary and Hell and Lucifer!

 

And so it was that on my birthday I fi­nally knew my place in the great scheme of things and the work that entailed.

 

I could only come to one con­clu­sion: the co­in­ci­dental appearance—and I don’t be­lieve in coincidences—of all these sixes was The Sign!

This made me re­member the par­ents of all those girls I dated in the ’70s: most of them were Irish, Italian, and Polish—meaning most of them were Catholic. And their par­ents all thought I was the Devil! This had al­ways con­fused me, but at that mo­ment I ac­cepted it.

I knew that every­thing was dif­ferent: I had been trans­formed trans­fig­ured trans­mu­tated. I had been transed this and transed that.

Hell’s Belles—I had been transmogrified!

I went to the bath­room, looked in the mirror, and for a split second thought I saw a beast with seven heads with ten horns looking back at me. I was pretty hot stuff!

And so it was that on my 66th birthday it came to be that I fi­nally knew my place in the great scheme of things and the work that en­tailed. Now what part of that work should I do first?

I sup­pose I could start my labors by shaving off a part of my beard and keeping a pointed goatee, which tends to high­light my cheekbones.

Or I could start wearing all black, as it has such a slim­ming ef­fect on my hips and waist.

Or I could fi­nally cave into Ed­win’s de­sire to cut my long hair “his way” and make me look “naked and sexy.”

Or I could start by giving up the brown sugar in my coffee, lest anyone get the no­tion that this Anti-Christ is any­thing less than a manly man …

I turned 66 and woke up the next day transmogrified—I was the devil in dis­guise. Click To Tweet

Trans New Me: etching of Lucifer by Gustav Dore for 1866 edition of PARADISE LOST.

FEATURED IMAGE: This is how Gus­tave Doré en­vi­sioned me in one of my ear­lier man­i­fes­ta­tions (il­lus­tra­tion for Mil­ton’s Par­adise Lost, 1866). Here’s a little se­cret: I rarely sat down in those days, cer­tainly not when posing for a major artist. Aside from how much more fore­bod­ingly im­pres­sive I looked standing on those cloven hoofs, sit­ting on my damn tail for too long played havoc with my sci­atic nerve!

 

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