When old age shall this generation waste…

September 17, 2008

I was listening to my iPod as I walked into class today.  One of my
students – a particularly delightful smart ass – asked me what I was
listening to, and was shocked when I told him that it was the Chili
Peppers.  "You listen to RHCP?" he asked. 

How old do these kids think I am?  How old do I look?  They know that I'm twenty-seven by now, I'm sure I've mentioned it before – but what do they associate with that number?

I've been kicking that kid's surprise around in my head for a while.  I
think his surprise speaks more to his being eighteen than it does to my
being twenty-seven.  I remember being a teenager – and a student
especially.  Your professors don't have lives – they live in a creepy
dream world.  They live in Plato's garden, eating grapes and talking
about economics and poetry.  They're poor and unfortunate and losery. 
It's fine that he thinks that of me – he's kindof right, if he does.

But still, I can't shake his surprise.  Not because it makes me feel old – but because it reminds me that I'm no longer young.

I'm comfortable with who I am – perhaps too comfortable, but that's a
different subject for a different blog.  I'm no longer the effusive
wastrel that I was in my early twenties.  Nor am I the paralyzed ferret I was in high school.  I'm twenty-seven – I've broken some hearts and had mine smashed up a bit, too.  I've run the gamut of sexual encounters, from the doldrums of smile-like-you-mean-it sex to wall-shattering fucking.  Not like you wanted to know that, but here we are.  I was a genius – and then a knownothing – and am now ingenious in knowing that I don't know anything.  I was a romantic, and a cynic, and a Buddhist (for like a hot minute) and a nasty old atheist.  I've performed every ugly growth ritual required of someone under the age of twenty-five.

And now I'm twenty-seven – and my Zen has sapped me of those disgusting little notions of youth.

I'm such a fan of my late-twenties.  If I could stop time, I'd stop it here. 

The late-twenties seem to be the coiling period in life.  You've got everything basically figured out – all of the emotional bullshit is basically solved, or so beyond repair that it doesn't matter anymore.  You've developed your path, or your rut, depending on how you view it.  You've had enough experience in relationships to know what kindof a partner you are… and what kind of partner you're looking for.  Nineteen year olds, while attractive in their own way, are totally desexualized – at least they are for me.  They're just little kids who are poised to begin the ruination of their lives that comes from being twenty to twenty-five.  They're not even people… not yet.  They're working on that.

Being in my late-twenties is like finding the perfect spot on a hike.  You've clawed through the bramble of your early years… you're on the mend from all of the damage you did to yourself.  And you pause there – because while you're afforded a perfect view of where you've come from… you also have this really lovely glimpse of where you still have left to go.  I wish I could just stay here.

A person's twenties are all about solipsism.  It's about developing and fostering identity… and then broadcasting that identity in the hopes that it'll get you laid.  It's hedonism – pure fucking hedonism. 

Your thirties are about other people – whether that be a kid (no thank you), a wife (thank you, no) or your older self – your retired, "I'd better start to save up some money so that I don't have to work in Walmart like those tragic old people I see whenever I go out to buy a teeshirt with a clever catchphrase on it."  What looks you have start to go.  Your joints begin to hurt.  You "aren't a kid anymore."

Well I don't want to be a kid.  I don't miss college like some people do.  Nor do I miss the psychological experiment that was high school.  I want to stay here, where the view is perfect.  Where I can breathe easy now that my baggage is gone… and imagine where I'm going to take myself.

But I can't do that.  My smart assed student reminded me of that today.  He found my little clearing and started dumping redbull cans all over it.  "Get moving, old man," he's saying to me.  The little asshole.

I really want to stay as beautiful as I've felt these last few years… but I know I cant.

That blows.

I guess I'll just have to take consolation in the fact that getting older brings certain cool things.  Gray hair, for one.  I long for the days of salt-and-pepper hair.  That'll be good. 

That's about all, though… now that I think about it.

Do I have to have a kid?  A wife?

I don't like people that much.  Why can't I just keep things as they are?  A stable girlfriend… a few latent heartaches for my pasts and futures… a cool hairdo and a nice ass?  A creaky apartment, not a house to own.  Bah!

Fuck that kid and his redbull – he'll just use my clearing to have bad sex with a blond girl named Kiersten and listen to a baseball game on the radio and call everyone "bro'." 

Surprised that I knew about the Chili Peppers… bitch I was listening to them before you were running down your mother's leg.

There we go!  Soupy romanticism is back!  I'm out of my rapture… back to my appalling vulgarity!

Fuck that bitch.  I'm not moving.  I'm gonna stay here…


2 Responses to “When old age shall this generation waste…”

  1. dora Says:

    “I really want to stay as beautiful as I’ve felt these last few years”. …. interesting.

  2. a. Says:

    Why the dramatic, “… interesting”?
    Bitch, I’m being effusive. I’m allowed.
    Go read some Slayer lyrics if you want something bleak. I’m in a different sort of mood these days.

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