Monday, December 24, 2007

Fight time

The entirety of my adult life has been spent assuming that 95% of the people I’m going to meet are going to be assholes on a sloping, gradient scale from mousy & passive-aggressive to bitter & unwaveringly idiotic. If this past year of teaching has taught me nothing else, however, it’s that dealing within the age group of 16-23 (for the most part) produces almost the exact opposite results.
Does this mean that my assumptions are wrong?
No, means that what people allow age to do to them is wrong. Everyone but the youthful will tell you that youth is good (and young’uns will tell you that too, but without resonance; indeed, what in the world do they have to compare to?), but forget to mention that aging is fun, too.
Sure, the body is breaking down, and it takes more to spark the imagination because it’s been exposed to almost everything at least once...but now the stories you tell have a legendary quality to them: I remember when I could, only six years ago, lift a gigantic spool of cable that weighed twice what I do over my head and onto a loading dock - this story has now graduated to spool after spool of high-density steel-ribbon thrown like sacks of feathers onto the eight-foot-high, sharpened-edge of a platform guarded by Cerberus and a wall of fire while dodging exploding bullets shot from a wall-mounted, motion-activated tommy-gun.
I was so fast I raced myself driving a car and I won; I was so clever I took half of Hell from Satan in a poker-game; my eyes were so good I could watch the earth rotate; my hands were so good that I could catch you falling asleep...
The only thing more fun than doing something rad is telling someone how rad it was. Every story told is in the past - it’s just a matter of how far away you allow it to be. Young people know this, but end up getting it squeezed out of them by responsibility & "maturity" once they hit 30, and it’s a shame. 

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?
-Satchel Paige

Don’t allow the linearity of time dictate your age - punch a clock, literally; take your time back.

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