Letter From Milo: Ugly Old Men

June 19th, 2017

I woke up with a hangover yesterday morning. It was one of those cruel, oppressive hangovers that linger all day and make you bitterly regret not only your excesses of the past 24 hours, but also just about everything you’ve done for the past 30 years.

As I was wandering around the house that morning, dressed in my ratty bathrobe and slippers, feeling sorry for myself and muttering about the essential unfairness of life, I happened to glance at a mirror and was shocked by what I saw.

I looked like an ugly old man.

My face was puffy, my lids were drooping, and my eyes were still bloodshot. I hadn’t shaved in a week, my hair was standing on end, and my skin was off-color, almost jaundiced.

To be honest, I looked like shit. And I didn’t like it one bit.

Of course, most people look terrible when they wake up. But after cleaning up — showering and attending to toiletry details — they generally look a lot better.

Unfortunately, that didn’t work for me. After showering, shaving, trimming my eyebrows and nose hairs, and tending to the follicular growths sprouting from my ears, I still looked like Shemp Howard after a rough night.

Maybe I was being too hard on myself. Perhaps the hangover was skewing my perceptions. So I decided to get a second opinion. I asked my wife, the lovely Mrs. Milo, “Honey, do I look okay to you?”

“What do you mean?”

“I don’t know. I guess I’m feeling kind of old and ugly today.”

“Well, you’re not that young anymore.”

“I’m aware of that.”

“And if you quit drinking and smoking so much it might improve your appearance.”

“Anything else?”

“If I think of something I’ll let you know.”

Thankfully, I don’t have to rely on my looks to keep my job as Society, Lifestyle and Religion columnist here at The Third City. Nobody cares what a blogger looks like. It’s like being a radio personality. Appearance is meaningless.

Now that I think about it, except for Ms. No Blaise, who happens to be a fine looking young woman, most of my colleagues at this blog site are mangy looking fuckers.

Benny Jay, for example, is an ugly bastard. He’s got a face that would give Stephen King nightmares.

Jonny Randolph has seen better days. I’d be willing to bet that he hasn’t gotten laid since the mid-1980s. And I doubt things will improve anytime soon.

Rolando is a nasty looking brute. People cross the street to avoid him. The local kids dress up like Rolando on Halloween, just to scare the neighbors.

Jim Siergey is another homely bastard. Years of obsessive cartooning have ruined his looks. He’s come to resemble a cartoon character himself. If he had a handlebar mustache, he’d look exactly like Yosemite Sam.

I suppose I shouldn’t dwell on appearances. What could be more superficial than judging people by the way they look? After all, some of the great people in history were not much to look at.

Abraham Lincoln was homely, to put it kindly. Mother Teresa could have used a touch of lipstick and a little rouge. Winston Churchill resembled a bulldog. Golda Meir probably had a tough time getting a prom date.

That said, I couldn’t shake the thought that I was becoming an unattractive older man. I was walking along Clark Street later that afternoon, depressed by the notion that time was working against me, that I was only going to get older and uglier, when I saw a very attractive young woman walking in my direction. As she passed by she gave me a beautiful smile and said, “Hi.”

I started feeling better right away.

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