It has recently become clear to me that I am an old person. A smelly, closed-minded, shriveled, horrible to be around, incontinent, inattentive, stuck in the past, paranoid, dirty minded, uninteresting, all-around poop in the potty old person. The reason I have come to this conclusion, or this conclusion has come to me, which is the same thing so forget I wrote that, is due to the fact that I live in a college town. The very college town in which I once attended college myself, back when I was a somewhat younger old person. It is a nice little town to look at, very clean and pleasant to walk around in for the most part. Its citizens will not trouble you for spare change or cigarettes, for they are wealthy, and don’t smoke. At most, they may flash a barely perceptible derisive sneer, a look that conveys something along the lines of “I don’t recognize you, but you seem poor”, after which they will continue on their merry way, thinking about NPR and organically grown vegetables. If you were to attack them, or even simply ask for the time, they would no doubt simultaneously wet and soil their belted khaki shorts and begin vomiting and crying, which would be way worse to deal with than the barely perceptible derisive sneer, so it’s best to let them have their proud moment of judgement and carry on with your business. They are not really harming anything, and on occasion some of them will even surprise you by being genuinely pleasant provided you keep the conversation light and don’t talk about poontang or nutsacs or, God forbid, organically grown vegetables.
That’s how it is in the summertime. A calm, cool breeze blesses sparsely populated streets. Amidst the relaxed, tanned families, one can easily find an empty booth in one of the few humble eateries about town at any time of day or night. Short of the occasional comfortably ratty Red Sox cap, few feel the need to wear hats. While people do look at their phones from time to time, they do so simply to check for messages of voice or text, and then close their phone upon continuing their walk, that they might better see where it is that they are going. Traffic is steady but purposeful, en route to earning money for the purposes of family sustenance or to spend it on sensible things like hammers and assorted crockery. When lawns are mowed, the people mowing them wear headphones not to listen to the latest smash hit by DJ Fuck Yo Momma and the Bitch Shooters, but to actually protect their ears from possible and permanent impairment. It is Sunnytown, USA, and its beaming blandness is at once irritating and wonderful, depending on how one chooses to process the information on display.
Then fall comes.
This evening I drove my poor-smelling, essential-fluid-leaking maroon station wagon to the Thai take-out place just down the street from our apartment for the purposes of picking up curry puffs (an unfamiliar but exciting-sounding appetizer this place started making recently) and delicious yellow curry with fluffy rice and tender pork as a reward to myself and my wife for another week of not killing one another when I couldn’t help but notice a trio of fleshy, fresh-faced young women walking directly in the middle of the road, all three squinting and smiling wanly at their vibrantly hued cellphones. Now I’m all for fleshy, fresh-faced young women in most any capacity, but when they’re shuffling down the street in the middle of a fairly busy main road and preventing me from shoveling hot, starchy, fowl-flesh slurry into my yearning esophagus, I really have no choice but to run over them with my vehicle. So I killed some people tonight, and I’ll pay for it later, no doubt. But the curry puffs were excellent.
Walking in the opposite direction of these oblivious ninnies were a pair of deeply dopey-looking young fellows, backwards of cap and saggy of short, striding with the confidence that only an exquisitely empty cerebral cortex can supply. They, too, were walking down the middle of the road, despite there being a clearly visible sidewalk with plenty of room on it for people to walk on, even people who don’t know how to dress themselves and spend every waking moment of their boundless spare time texting one another about bath salts. But no, nothing but the middle of the road would do for these gents.
I made no attempt to disguise my disgust, looking directly at both parties in question and sighing as loud as I possible could, but they all just kept on galumphing. In the end, I drove directly into their midst, and we all sort of maneuvered around one another. I’m not even sure I was visible to any of them.
So as you age, do people in the age group of, say, 13-24 just suddenly come across as utterly devoid of value, to the point where it seems like it would feel great to really cause them some serious physical harm in a perfect world where they weren’t actually stronger than you? To the point where working out at a gym doesn’t sound like such a bad idea after all, if only to possibly give you the ability to maybe hospitalize the next person who says the word “dude”? Or have kids just gotten really, really, really dumb? And mean? Is this how my friends and I looked and sounded to people with responsibilities and interests that no longer involved parties or sleeping till noon or occasionally walking to a series of buildings and sitting in a series of rooms ignoring a series of middle-aged nerds?
Well, at any rate, looks like I’m surrounded by fuckin’ idiots till May! WHOOOOOOOO! MORE COWBELL! PLEASE, I BEG OF YOU, MORE COWBELL!!!!! WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!