On Growing Up

If all you’re seeing is your lies
You had your chance, but now you’ve blown it.
You want this world so you can own it
I am the keeper of the songs of everyone

Look into the sun and see your soul is dying
Used to feel the faith, but now you’re tired of trying
Should have left alone what you have stolen from everyone

How are you feeling?
You seem a little sick to me

I read a piece in Esquire by Stephen Marche entitled “Can We Stop Acting So Childish?” I have a subscription (big surprised, hu?) so I’m not sure if it’s on newstands or not, but go pick up the issue and read the piece if it’s not online. I think the person on the cover is Tom Brady (missing Brady Bunch brother? I have no idea who he is or why we should stop hating him). But the piece really got to me when I read it yesterday (this post was supposed to be written afterward, but it was The Professor’s birthday and Jyg and I were invited to to the gala). I ponder most of it on the drive over there and even more so when I showed Jyg where I spent the earlier parts of my life. Donna’s changed so much and looks almost inhabitable at night. I’m sure my grandmother would have hated the changes down and perhaps may have succumbed to defeat and moved in with us if she hadn’t passed eleven years ago.

I’m twenty-five-years-old. I don’t drive because of this fear that I can’t even explain most of the time. I still live at home with my mother because of this deep seeding guilt of leaving my mother in a state of depression. My relationships are less than perfect. I close myself off emotionally from people I love. I sit at home and write porn for money. I read books to escape my mundane life. I graduated from college but haven’t used my degree in any real work. I am the epitome of manchild, am I not? That’s the topic of Marche’s piece in the collum “A Thousand Words About Our Culture.”

As a country, we seemingly, but possibly unwittingly, gratify the adult-child. He starts his piece with the fact that the beloved children’s book, but possibly well hated (even though it hasn’t been released) film adapation, Where the Wild Things Are. I loved the book as child, and I’m pretty darn sure that I would still love it if I had the book to read to my nieces and nephew. And while little can be said about the book, what Marche points out is what seems to plague us to this day – it’s about a child realizing that it’s time to grow up. The only problem is, we don’t realize that anymore.

The source of the new ubiquity of the child-adult centaur may be the extended adolescence in which we all find ourselves. If you believe the conservative commentators, every urban American under the age of 40 rides a skateboard to work, and the criteria that once defined adulthood – giving up bands, getting a steady job, normal sex – no longer apply. Hipster parents are the new children raising children: Put the kid down for a nap, check the BlackBerry to see if the Shanghai office has sent the proofs, then take the videocam into the bedroom, and afterward maybe listen to Vampire Weekend with a joint while playing Halo 3 together. That’s the new happy marriage, the new happy adulthood: the desires of adolescence empowered by money and confidence.

And while I find myself at the crossroads a lot lately, I’m beginning to notice that I recognized the terrain. That tree over there, it’s awfully familiar. It’s almost like I have  been here before. Only I haven’t been here before because in order to be able to say, “I’ve been here before,” I would have to actually leave this place and walk as far away from it until I loop back and find myself at the crossroads again. I never leave. I say that I will, but I never leave. Forever to be stuck in the middle until someone takes my hand and leads me away from it like they did when I was a child.

The other day I was mistaken for a 40-year-old man because I hang out with a 40-year-old man. That sort of logic didn’t work when I was sixteen, so why is it that sixteen-year-olds see me as old now? That’s right, because I’m no longer sixteen, I’m nine years old than them. I’m almost a decade older. When did that happen? I admit, I was never hip. I was never cool. I wasn’t “down” with the in crowd in high school. I didn’t sell drugs or have sex with multiple partners – fuck, I still don’t sell drugs or have sex with multiple partners. I didn’t go to the movies and watch stupid movies and than chuckle about them with the guys in the changing rooms, interchanging scenes from the movie with how big this one girl’s tits are. I was mature, wasn’t I? Didn’t I take things seriously – sure, maybe not school, but that’s because I knew the stuff already, I didn’t need to learn it. I never studied, managed high grades in the classes that I actually liked. So what happened? Wasn’t I supposed to be the promised child? Instead, I’ve become the Prodigal Son who refuses to come home and see the error of my way.

Why do I find it so hard to choose a path, be it the right path or the reckless path, and find my way back? Perhaps then, the tree will have changed and an median would have been set.

whisper now
and tell me how you’ll watch me
and tell me somehow i’m gonna be alright


4 responses to “On Growing Up

  1. I want to write porn for money. Any pointers as to how to begin towards doing that? Thank you.

  2. That’s all you too from the post? Just my gig on writing porn? I don’t discuss that here, but I found the lead to the gig through Freelance Writing Jobs (see the RSS section of this blog page). Every once in a while an adult writing gig appears.

  3. Thank you for the info, and No…

    These days nobody grows up, or more specifically, the majority doesn’t. Typical of a tech-economic and cultural oasis. I’d say the world situation in terms of cultural interaction is unparalleled, with its stainless steel exchange of ideas. Taboos are constantly being formulated and violated. Cultures are adopted and spurned. For many in developed countries the capacity to carry their interests with them into adulthood is increased thousandfold; our grandfathers had to break their backs getting out of the great depression, to rebuild from the rubble of two world wars, to carry the world on their bent backs, in a sense, so their grandchildren could go on being children.

    Unwarranted, unprecedented, and quite frankly, unfair, yes, but hey, that s how the world turns. The world pulled itself together. And it will fall apart at the seams. Might as well enjoy it while we can, before we need to worry about relearning basic survival skills in our ruined cities.

  4. ennuiprayer1

    Well then. Proved me wrong.

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