Toys ‘R’ Us said it best. “I don’t wanna grow up.”
Getting old is harder than sterling silver dipped in liquid nitrogen. I often find myself staring into the deep gray abyss of the twilight and wondering if this is it. If life exists to simply amass a small fortune, raise a family and perish – leaving behind a legacy if you’re lucky, but more often than not, generally fading away like a solar system that’s lost it’s sun.
Finding hope is difficult – perhaps the most difficult task at hand while your clock counts backward to triple-zero. The frequency with which I run through this in my head, endlessly purveying and surveying the landscape without a trace of insight or optimism, is daunting and troubling. I probably should seek some help.
When we’re children, we have very little concept of time. It’s there … we measure it on our watches and calendars, and it’s apparently something we can run out of … if we’re not careful. This still holds some water.
But, as we get older, we begin to develop an understanding of what time means. It’s a linear equation with no reversal. It’s a one way street where you can never speed up or slow down, only change your perception of how fast you’re moving based upon how much attention you’ve been paying. And, yet, worst of all …
All pleasure is temporary.
Everything that was cool once becomes uncool. Parties end. Last calls happen. You finish your lobster. The Joshua Tree fades out. You’ve crossed the finish line. The game’s over. Your life begins anew, with a new set of downs and a new frame of reference, and if you forget what just happened … nothing’s changed.
That’s why we have a memory. For all pleasure in life, in times of great crisis or sadness or uncertainty, can be dialed back up to bring another temporary smile to your face. If you’re paying attention to the side of the road when driving next to the Grand Canyon, that vision will help you block out that sonuvabitch driving next to you on the L.I.E. during rush hour.
What I’m trying to do here, and what I think is the purpose of most of my writing, and what I hope you enjoy, is to collect every obscure memory from the distant and not-so-distant past and attempt to bring it current. To release it into the wild and hope it remembers me as fondly as I remember it.
Sometimes it can be humorous, sometimes it can be satirical, often times it will be neither of these – since I consider myself neither a comedian nor a satirist, nor will you mistake me for one.
But, every day, for the briefest of moments – and hopefully for longer – I hope to bring back a relic that’s (in the profoundly paraphrased words of Mr. Hunter S. Thompson) too weird to live, and too rare to die. Even when something’s on the tip of your tongue, it may as well be lost forever. I want to find that one place I can escape to, where we can shoot dice in the hallway or have Nerf wars in the driveway. Just for one minute, I would like to be merry while my boss asks me to run that accounts receivable report for Q2 – or someday while my wife is out on girls night talking about how “the sex ran out before the money did.”
Yes, growing up is hard. There’s aging, responsibility, fractured relationships and credit crunches. I hope I can handle it all intelligently and diligently, and in good humor. I hope to age like a 21-year single malt, and I hope the world will value me in kind.
I hope I never forget the playground … where I learned everything I needed to know. Lessons taught with recess still in session – when getting older still meant a faraway land of hopes and dreams.