Afternoons and coffee spoons - Ed Brock

Strewn in a soggy line in the middle of a road near my house lay various items of somebody's abandoned clothes.

Their placement showed the method of their delivery to this doom, and every day that I drove past them I imagined a great gray garbage bag full of socks, scarves and knick-knacks hanging over the side of some pickup truck, its cargo slowly dripping onto the pavement.

There was something very depressing about the sight. The frigid rain had soaked the garments into unrecognizable lumps, mostly black with a little something red to add a splash of miserable, hopeless color. It was a fitting monument to my life last week.

God, this winter has got me huddling deep into my trench coat, dreaming of spring. It's not just the weather, but the weather doesn't help.

"I grow old – I grow old – I shall wear the bottom of my trousers rolled."

I turned 36 this Saturday, so I thought a little T.S. Eliot might be appropriate.

It just all starts to blur after a while, doesn't it? I am, after all, essentially middle-aged.

Typically 45 to 50 is considered middle aged, but as I heard on a TV show or movie once, how many people do you know who live to be 100? No, statistically speaking I'm probably about in the middle right now.

Still, it doesn't hurt to be optimistic and say I've got four more years before I should leave my wife for an 18-year-old model whom I can tool around with in my Porsche (and by "tool around" I do mean driving, of course.)

I was watching the pilot for the old TV show "Night Gallery" last night. It was made in 1969, when I was 1 year old. Some of the stars included Roddy McDowell and Ozzie Davis, both in their prime at that time.

Now they're old, and it marks my years.

But at the same time it gives me hope. They're old but they're not dead.

Well, actually McDowell is dead. He died in 1998 from cancer.

Davis is still around, I think.

Point is, my life still fits inside another life. It fits inside lots of other lives, in fact, and if these 36 years feel like such a long time, that means I have just as much time left to live.

Assuming I don't, you know, get "called early," knock on wood.

Yeah, this is good. It seems to me that people live just long enough, usually, so why go looking for the fountain of youth? I am beginning to understand that at some point, hopefully far from now, I'll be able to say "OK, that's quite enough, thank you."

So long as I have about four or five years at the end where I can just lie in bed, watch television and eat pureed steak.

But as it stands today the highs are supposed to get into the 60s by Friday and spring may not be that far away.

And, indeed, there will be time.

Ed Brock covers public safety and municipalities for the News Daily. He may be reached at (770) 478-5753 ext. 254 or via e-mail at ebrock@news-daily.com.