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One has to be quite young to think that early forties is "old." I'm 33 and I gave up believing long ago that any age is old or that we ever become old. Sure, our bodies might slow down and we may become too smart for our own good, but I'm against believing that we ever reach a point where we can say that we're old.

When I was 14 I thought 17-year-old kids were old. When I turned 17 I was disappointed to realize that I was still young and immature. When I was 18 I thought 21-year-old people were old and sophisticated. Then I turned 21 and not much had changed. I may have been smarter than I was when I was 18, but I didn't feel any different. I didn't feel old.

I kept imagining Old as a destination I would eventually reach, a point in my life where everything inside and outside would transform. Well, that has never happened. My hairline has receded, my body is not capable of doing some of the things it used to be able to do, but I do not feel old. Inside I do not feel old. I may feel old sometimes due to the destroying qualities of Time (I would love to be 12 and brand new again), but this type of oldness usually feels like Time catching up to me before I can actually achieve true Old (whatever that is).

Because of Old's elusiveness, I have settled on believing that there is no Old. Life instead is an eternal present instead of a series of beginnings and endings. There is continuity to consciousness across the lifespan. The only thing that we can ever truly be sure of knowing is that we still know very little. Life is big enough to sustain our childhood wonder and amazement throughout this life and beyond.

Matthew Gallaway

Agreed, Tim--my objection to being labeled as a boomer has nothing to do with age per se, but rather the associated boomer philosophies (with the understanding that such things are largely untrue, at least when broken down to any kind of individual level)...


Ha ha... I'm a 'boomer' and I don't know exactly what that means. As far as "philosophies" are concerned, that is. Is it sort of like yuppie stuff? Like SUVs and things like that? Really, though, I've never thought that I've ever belonged anywhere, even my own family...

Sorry to read about Alex Chilton. Didn't realize that he had become such an icon to a completely different generation. My favorite Box Tops song was "Sweet Cream Ladies." After that, I'm not familiar with any of his music.

Matthew Gallaway

Hey Robert -- thanks for the comment -- to me boomer has always implied a sort of fake optimism (think sixties counterculture/revolution) followed by an equally fake materialism, but I know that all such generalizations are largely bogus (except when theyre not lol), and many of my heroes were boomers, so I dont want to get too constrained with labels, etc. Anyway, Alex Chilton made a lot of great music post-Box Tops!

Robert le Diable

Thanks, Matthew. I was thinking last night about how the leading edge of the 'boomer' generation gets most of the attention. Well, at least my portion of that generation produced Barack Obama. Since my part of the boomer movement really came of age in the '70s, we sort of missed that counterculture thing you mentioned. We were more content with Happy Days and stuff like that. So, although statistically we were part of the 'boom,' we really didn't grow up as part of that generation. By the time we came along, the strife was pretty much over and we were happy with what we had. I guess that's why I'm more of a "Sweet Cream Ladies" kind of guy than other things, but I'd like to check out Chilton's later music. As long as it's not too depressing. We late boomers don't like to be depressed.

Oh, and I've changed my handle, as you can see. My French grandmother used to call me "Robert le Diable," and I use that as my name when I post on French-language blogs and websites. I figured that it might fit in here, being that you're an opera connoisseur. And it distinguishes me from your other ardent fan named Robert.

Matthew Gallaway

Thanks for the note, Robert LD (via Meyerbeer)! Interesting points you make -- I would maybe start with the second Big Star record (Radio City I think its called?) and then go on to Sister Lovers, which can be verrrrry dark (but is very beautiful)...

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Gods final



A young boy wanders into the woods of Harlem and witnesses the abduction of his sister by a glowing creature. Forty years later, now working as a New York City homicide detective, Gus is assigned to a case in which he unexpectedly succumbs to a vision that Helen is still alive. To find her, he embarks on an uorthodox investigation that leads to an ancient civilization of gods and the people determined to bring them back.

In this colossal new novel from the author of The Metropolis Case, the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice collides with a new religion founded by three corporate office workers, creating something beautiful, illogical, and overwhelming. Part sex manifesto, part religious text, part Manhattan noir—with a dose of deadly serious, internet inspired satire—#gods is a sprawling inquest into the nature of faith and resistance in the modern world. With each turn of the page, #gods will leave you increasingly reborn.

Praise for #gods

“#gods is a mystery, an excavation of myths, an index of modern life, a gay coming-of-age story, an office satire, a lyrical fever dream, a conspiracy. One of the most ambitious novels in recent memory—and a wild, possibly transformative addition to the canon of gay literature—it contains multitudes, and seethes with brilliance.” —Mark Doten, author of The Infernal

“Matthew Gallaway’s #gods is a novel so brilliant, so funny, so full of strange and marvelous things, I couldn’t stop writing OMG WTF I <3 THIS SO MUCH in its margins. It’s rare to find a novel that so dazzlingly reinvigorates age-old meditations on faith and f&!*ing, art and eros. Luminous, enterprising, and sublimely cheeky, #gods tells the story, the myth, the dream of the human soul in all its glorious complexity.” —Suzanne Morrison, author of Yoga Bitch

“Matthew Gallaway’s storytelling manages to be both dreamy and serious; lean and luxurious. His words carry an incantatory power of mythic storytelling where beauty and savagery wrap around each other like bright threads in a gorgeous tapestry.” —Natasha Vargas-Cooper, author of Mad Men Unbuttoned: A Romp Through 1960s America

“If the ancient gods were just like us, only more so, then the same could be said for this strange, wonderful book, in which the mundane sorrows and small triumphs of very ordinary lives glow ever so slightly around the edges, sometimes quite literally. At once an oddly romantic send-up of dead-end office culture and an offbeat supernatural procedural, #gods is terrifically weird, melancholy, sexy, and charming.” —Jacob Bacharach, author of The Bend of the World

The Metropolis Case

'It’s to the credit of Matthew Gallaway’s enchanting, often funny first novel that it doesn’t require a corresponding degree of obsession from readers, but may leave them similarly transported: the book is so well written — there’s hardly a lazy sentence here — and filled with such memorable lead and supporting players that it quickly absorbs you into its worlds.'

-- The New York Times

Music: Death Culture at Sea and Saturnine

Listen or download songs and records from my indie-rock past with Saturnine here and Death Culture at Sea here.

Music Video: Remembrance of Things Past

Watch the rock opera Remembrance of Things Past written and performed by Saturnine and Frances Gibson, starring Bennett Madison and Sheila McClear.

Video: The Chaos Detective

The Chaos Detective is a series about a man searching for 'identity' as he completes assignments from a mysterious organization. Watch the first episode (five parts) on YouTube.

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