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 …


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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