24

I have been trying to write this all day. Unfortunately, I have had little to say on the matter. I anticipate the party this weekend, so I can drink away the carcinogenic aging process with a sufficient amount of friends and lovers.

Birthdays are depressing times. You know, the aging process is just a slow death, and the existential loneliness that comes with years and years of more time and little change. There are the expectations, the exceptions, the cards, the fake smiles, the polite exclamations, the dinner, the song, the plans, and the asking of plans. But let me focus on expectations:

The more I try to bottle up any expectations, any wants, any secret desires, the more I quietly smile and build longing wishes and silent dreams. No one wants to get hurt. So. Let’s not get hurt and make ourselves sad and unfulfilled in the process.

I have hit another tangent. I don’t want to dwell on this.

Twenty-four. For the first time in a long time, perhaps the first time, I had a pleasant day. Birthday, that is. And yet, I still had to find something to settle on, to rip up below my ribcage. Once that parachute of pain opened, it was impossible to stuff back into the case.

Stop. I told you already. Today was pleasant. I won’t list the happiness, though it was abundant, and I won’t list the sadness, which came and went like a hot summer storm. But I will offer a song, and a few lyrics.

Neil Young – Old Man

Twenty-four
and there’s so much more
Live alone in a paradise
That makes me think of two.
Love lost, such a cost,
Give me things
that don’t get lost.
Like a coin that won’t get tossed
Rolling home to you.

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3 responses to “24

  1. I won’t minimize your hurt with a tut-tut and a pat on your pretty head. Whether your 24 or 45, it’s the oldest you’ve ever been.

    Is it better to be intelligent and aware of your own mortality or blissfully ignorant and believe you’ll live forever?

  2. She may only be 24, but I swear she has the soul of a 63 year-old wino.

  3. Try 39, with the flu, and being forced to work for six hours. It’s not that I don’t have compassion for the perspective of the 24 year-old, it’s just the weight of seeing it over and over again crushing my ability to empathize.

    Let’s experiment briefly. Have anything from when you were nine? Try to remember how it felt, being nine.

    That’s how it feels for 39 year olds today. Or a 54 year-old looking back at me.

    -R

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