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Did Ya? by Matt Tracy I wonder if anyone ever thought of any of the stuff I propose? [597 words]
Turning Fifty
The Morning Shower by Danny I. Spitler Does anyone else suffer these issues associated with the morning shower? [940 words]
Stranger To Myself by Omar Longoria “Look in the mirror. The face that pins you with its double gaze reveals a chastening secre... [1,225 words]
A Thanksgiving Monday by Danny I. Spitler The author has a reflective and enlightening evening following Thanksgiving. [809 words]
The Vaporeal Defecation Of A Mental Diarrheatic by Crazy Clown I just had so much fun writing the other two displays of inanit... [951 words]
The Unfortunate Homophobe by Crazy Clown An interspective on a homophobe who wishes he wasn't, and some ideas and opinions on ... [1,131 words]
The Demented Monologue Of A Downright Imbecile by Crazy Clown Another display of foolishness and inanity, from the one who can... [1,246 words]
The Bed by Danny I. Spitler The author gains appreciation for the consistency brought to his life by an inanimate object [791 words]
She's Just Relaxing by Danny I. Spitler She's just relaxing on the sofa; however..... [626 words]
Fathers And Sons And Baseball by Danny I. Spitler Three generations share an uniquely American experience. Opening Day. [1,078 words]
Well, Shit by Crazy Clown A rather... interesting essay on the worlds worst waste. Requires a unique state of mind to enjoy pr... [1,020 words]
Swimming With Sharks by Danny I. Spitler The author experiences an encounter with a large Lemon Shark in Tahiti [835 words]
Some Explanation Is In Order by Crazy Clown You might come to this title expecting a deep, philosophical, or thought-provoking... [447 words]
Ramblings Of A Crazy Dude by Michael Hunter hee hee. I can write whatever I want in here! bwa ha. Unfortunately, I can't thi... [629 words]
My Dog Opposes Communism by Tcn Actually submitted to a high school teacher. I guess I was feeling like a rebel at the... [862 words]
Free Food by Danny I. Spitler There's no such thing as a free lunch. Wrong. There is tons of free food, as this author points out.... [1,031 words]
Dragonball Z - Akira Toryama's Drug Trip? by Crazy Clown An essay worthy of the label of Crazy Clown, about the sheer ludicrou... [989 words]
A Place I'd Like To Forget by Tcn Another school piece. Writing about a grocery store job I held during the summer. I ... [898 words]
It's Wednesday by Danny I. Spitler The author reflects on his lover. [143 words]
Bruce Willis: One Of The Sexiest Men Alive by L Chapman - [176 words]
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Screw Common Sense by Michael Hunter It's a college essay thingy. I was just reading some sample essays and got an urge to write... [993 words]
Food Stamp Day by L Chapman - [247 words]
Cellular Consciousness: From Quantum Physics To Alternative Medicine by Lissa N Metz-Gomez A research paper linking quantum physics ... [1,660 words]
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Think Before You Write by Richard Koss My observations, after reading the work of many aspiring young writers, prompted me to w... [988 words]
After The Rain - How The West Lost The East by Sam Vaknin An anthology of 180 previously published articles and essays regard... [11,318 words]
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Turning Fifty
The author takes a reflective look at reaching the half century mark.
[999 words]
Danny I. Spitler
-I am a successful business executive who is finally returning to writing after giving it up in College to pursue a business career. I travel extensively, hike, golf, and scuba dive. I live with Pam, my loving companion and fellow traveler.
[December 2000]
A Thanksgiving Monday (Essays) The author has a reflective and enlightening evening following Thanksgiving. [809 words] [Mind]
Blue Run At Telluride (Short Stories) The author tests his nerve and his resolve in a challenging duel with a ski slope. [1,770 words] [Adventure]
Fathers And Sons And Baseball (Essays) Three generations share an uniquely American experience. Opening Day. [1,078 words] [Relationships]
Free Food (Essays) There's no such thing as a free lunch. Wrong. There is tons of free food, as this author points out. [1,031 words] [Humor]
It's Wednesday (Essays) The author reflects on his lover. [143 words] [Romance]
She's Just Relaxing (Essays) She's just relaxing on the sofa; however..... [626 words] [Romance]
Swimming With Sharks (Essays) The author experiences an encounter with a large Lemon Shark in Tahiti [835 words] [Adventure]
The Bed (Essays) The author gains appreciation for the consistency brought to his life by an inanimate object [791 words] [Self-Help]
The Blindfold (Short Stories) A couple decides to meet in an most unusual and erotic manner. [1,679 words] [Romance]
The Cayman Wall (Essays) -The author revisits the place where he overcame fear years ago and challenges himself to do it again. [1,448 words] [Adventure]
The Morning Shower (Essays) Does anyone else suffer these issues associated with the morning shower? [940 words] [Humor]
Water Festival In Thailand (Short Stories) In Thailand, the "land of smiles," one of the wildest and happiest celebrations is Song Kron, also known as the Thai water festival. Experience this special celebration in a very unique way. [1,701 words] [Travel]
Turning Fifty
Danny I. Spitler

I find myself figuratively standing in the middle of some railroad tracks.

Having spent a portion of my youth in the tiny hamlet of Columbus, New Mexico, I spent many hours walking along, balancing on, and jumping across those solid iron rails. While doing so, the warnings of Mom and Dad were ever present in the back of my mind. I always stood ready to scurry a safe distance from those tracks at the faintest sound of a far away whistle.

Today the whistle is loud and clear, the ground is rumbling, the black smoke is bellowing into the sky, and a huge black engine is not only in full view, it is bearing down on me with unrelenting speed. There is a number painted in two huge letters right above the cowcatcher, and I am staring straight at an oncoming freight train carrying the number 50.

I will resist the temptation of other "leading edge" baby boomers to lament about how old fifty used to seem to them. I was never among that crowd that believed that the age of fifty was synonymous with Lazyboy recliners, tapioca pudding, and loss of control over certain vital body functions. I had too many family examples to the contrary, including a mother who hiked the Grand Canyon (rim to rim) in her 60's, and dances the legs off younger men in her 70's. Still, approaching a half-century of living isn't without its psychological challenges.

For one thing my life insurance company seems to think that my chances of hanging around another 50 are less than stellar, and they have shown their complete lack of faith in my longevity by steadily increasing the cost of my term life policy. This week I converted a portion of the term policy to whole life. You know the pitch, "You need to do this before you hit 50 or the cost will go out of sight." Yeah, right. After signing all the papers, and handing over an ungodly amount of money for the first year's premium, I looked the agent right in the eye and told her that, if I lived to be 90, I was going to be really pissed off at her.

It also continues to surprise me when I see, meet, or come in contact with people who are my age, yet they seem determined to look, feel, and behave as if they are so much older. I will freely admit that some of them are of the opinion that I have the problem, and I am simply determined to act much younger than my chronological age. I respond to this argument with a most appropriate response. I cover my ears, close my eyes, stamp my feet and shout, "Am not, Am not, Am not."

Am I completely blind to the realities of reaching the age of 50? No, not really. There are way too many little reminders. There is that moment of decision in the parking lot of the restaurant, when you try to remember how large the print is on the menus, so you can decide whether to take in the reading glasses. There is the increasing interest in locating vitamin and nutritional supplements at discount prices, since these are beginning to absorb a greater percentage of your disposable income. There is the realization that you would rather risk starvation than to actually consume anything on the menu at McDonalds. And of course, there is the steadily increasing amount of time spent staring at the wall directly behind urinals.

Despite these and other small irritants, I can't help but believe that, of all my five decade celebrations, this is probably the best. Being a student of history, especially my own, I have the ability to remember each of them.

October 1958.
We had been living in Phoenix for four months. The transition from a tiny farm town, where I had complete freedom of movement, to a large city with streets, traffic, and no place to shoot my BB gun, was painful. I was the "new kid" in very large fifth grade class. I was not a happy camper.

October 1968.
I was a junior at the University of Oklahoma. It was my first time away from home. It was cold and windy. My roommate had no personality. My class schedule was a killer. Still, it would have been a great opportunity for new and different experiences, if I had been open and adventurous. Instead, I chose to be homesick and lovesick, and I let the opportunities slip away.

October, 1978
I was a new Dad. Lindsey was a few months old, and she was starting to smile and coo between burping and pooping. I was a good father, but there were things inside our family that needed fixing, and I was too young and inexperienced to realize that they wouldn't fix themselves. I am still not old enough to know if all things always work out for the best, but I do regret only having a few years where I was able to kiss my daughter goodnight, every night.

October, 1988
I had just come through the darkest financial period of my life. In October I wasn't even aware that the worst was over. I probably didn't realize that for a few more months. That experience was probably one of the best things that ever happened to me, but I will never pretend that it was anything but painful. And I do not want to go back there……ever.

October, 1998
Yes……of all these 10-year celebrations, this one is the best. I will simply step away from the tracks and let the train race by me. As it passes I will smile and wave at the engineer and the conductor. In a while the earth will stop rumbling, the black smoke will vanish into the air, and the roar of the engine will be reduced to silence. I will breath deeply, step back on to the tracks, smile and whisper softly, "You missed me."



"Smart, sophisticated, I liked it. I've never even pictured myself being age 50, but I think now I can." -- Christy Mack.
"two lines" -- sam sabio.
"Beautifully done! Sensitive, but not maudlin... Having passed that milestone myself, I can relate." -- Georgia Kraff, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.


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© 1998 Danny I. Spitler
November 2000

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