The passage of time, that scourge of anyone who suddenly wakes up perilously near their fiftieth birthday and realises that they're no longer likely to live longer into the future than they can imagine*, walloped me over the head an hour or two ago, and I'm still reeling.
*By the way - oh jeez, here I go again - I am now firmly convinced that despite every bloody encyclopedia of my youth, and every comic and magazine of my boyhood being in agreement on the subject, we will NOT be flying around in hover-cars or using personal jet packs during my lifetime. I'm a bit pissed off about that.
Now - time passing, etc. Yes, well...I was in the bathroom having a shower a short time ago (you don't need to know details like exactly how long ago, surely?) and, having been reminded by that very process of a) how little hair now resides upon my head and b) that almost every hair on my legs has buggered off to another land, I found myself troubled by the apparent transformation coming over me. I remained troubled in a vague kind of way for some time - you know the kind of thing: that 'troubled' feeling that makes you swear out loud (and profusely, at that) when you drop the teaspoon for the fifth time, and realise that there are no more teaspoons left in the drawer, and you're now going to have to pick all five of them up off the floor in order to use just one of them.
And then, an hour or so ago, it hit me in the unmentionables. I've known for a while that human beings basically dry out as they get older (it's true: the proportion of our mass which is comprised of water reduces alarmingly as we age) and turn into fleshy raisins, but I wasn't prepared for what my body now seems to be doing.
I'm losing hair at either end of my body - which is, frankly, utterly unfair. I am - or so the evidence would seem to indicate (and you can't argue with physical evidence of this kind - believe me, I've tried) turning into a bald, pale stick with a clump of thick, wiry and stubbornly resilient hair stuck to the middle of it (there's no sign of that diminishing!). At the front, by the way, just in case you were wondering...you weren't? Sorry. Especially if you were eating...
I can't help feeling that this is really rather cruel of the universe, and I would be registering a very strongly-worded complaint if I had any clue about to whom and where to register it.
Fellow sufferers can contact me on the support website that I am setting up: