We age and gain wisdom by the second; it’s a simple truth of life. Though, the cynical side of me finds that annoying, but only because it makes this inevitably slow crawl to our own individual demise, seem pointless. Yes, that’s the classic, cliché existentialist mantra too, but can you refute that? Don’t feel bad, my best response was, “for love… but that comes with suffering too, doesn’t it?”.
I didn’t suffer too much but there were I need a shot moments, and the said, shot, will alleviate the moment. The worst moments were when I had to deal with people from my past that, somehow, seemed never to have aged. They got older physically, but their level of wisdom had not left where it began about a decade ago. A peeve of mine, I suppose, but it was always exacerbated because I couldn’t understand why it annoyed me, leaving to me to feel I had blossomed, over time, into a fucking asshole (no, I won’t sugar-coat it). I had down everything down to the letter in the textbook; hypocritically gone to school, worked spontaneous jobs, gotten into, both, terrible and unbelievable situations, and then some. I wanted to fly, and I flew. Sometimes into brick walls but sometimes into the crisp, hopeful blue skies, every brush of wind that hit my face was like a high-five of encouragement. …Well, like a slap in the face of encouragement. Of course, however, I’ve wanted to cut my own wings off and bleed to death huddled next to the dumpster behind a Wendy’s or a 7-Eleven. Just sometimes. I’m sure we all know which emotion is the culprit for nudging a person into such a state. L-o-v-e.
I had always blamed it on her youth. We both did, and agreed only because it seemed correct. She wasn’t capable of dealing with such an important matter as love. File the reports, cover sheets, dotted i’s and crossed t’s. She wanted to egg houses, float to the parties like a butterfly, skateboard through the House of Senate for laughs, she had the youth in her heart. I felt more like an arrogant asshole, blaming a kid for being a kid, than I did getting annoyed by my Benjamin Button friends.
The reality is, it wasn’t her fault. It wasn’t mine either. Look outside that coffee shop window, or your apartment window, take a walk outside; look for the next two people you see in love. Any age, they’re there, and will always be, and have but one thing in common. They are young at heart, despite your age. If that bloodpump inside your chest is beating, you can get into that club. The real grown-ups in the world, the workers, busy reaching that deadline, in order to sustain their lives; they’re grown ups. They don’t make farting noises in the subway. They work, then try to play at night, gripping onto whatever youth they have left, in an civil, orderly fashion. Dinner parties, over-age nightclubs, Vodka Redbulls, first and fucking last name, please. Laugh at the mere idea of Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, unicorns, and ultimately, love. Not the proverbial love, but the love you had when you were a child; innocent, honest, unconditional. You have never been more honest with your heart than when you were a child.
We weren’t afraid of death because we didn’t know what it was. We didn’t know what love was either, but we saw it translated everyday in smiles, hugs, kisses, hellos and goodbyes. You and I may be through with the past, but no one said the past was through with us.
Love and Death are very real things, and we will meet them both by the end of the party, but it’s a matter of which asshole you’d like to meet first.