This Man's Life: Hail Mary of Monkstown as the sherry trifle saves me from the sea
life is essentially comic. (With an undernote of sadness.) Ask the saintly woman who has to put up with me on a daily, tragicomic basis. She Who Must Be Obeyed, aka my wife. I'd like to think the aforesaid saint Aoife thinks I'm funny. Funny ha, ha. Not funny peculiar
Though recently I have been more of the latter. Not certifiably mad peculiar, I hope you understand - just more of a mopey, moaning ninny, cantankerous bastard than usual. In fairness, I'm not usually a self-regarding creature of infinite melancholy. Only lately. I'm turning 50 next month. I feel like I am tilting ever-so-slowly towards the grave. Or at least tilting towards being a grumpy middle-aged man with a bald patch that grows as remorsefully as his existential ennui. Worse, I don't feel I have learned anything with age. If anything, like most people perhaps, I make the same mistakes again and again.
Any denial I might harbour about not being middle-aged - or just old - will be removed forever when my wife and daughter Emilia wish me happy birthday on September 26. I can't but be middle-aged at 50 years of age, can I? An age when you suddenly start to see merit in Simone de Beauvoir's prophecy: "If you live long enough, you'll see that every victory turns into a defeat."