Tuesday, February 10, 2004

John Shirley writes sensibly and unromantically about aging. Speaking of which, I'm 28, which is very close to 29. And 29 is, for all intents and purposes, the same as 30. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't having any trouble with this realization. I look back on the last decade of my life with mingled disgust and horror; it went by so quickly, and I have so little to show for it. Lots of self-absorbed scribbling in notebooks, innumerable books read, boxes of drawings, a few stories published, lots of ideas pursued -- but it's not enough. There's an aspect of my life that's lacking: a certain warmth, a sense of fully partaking in the human spectacle, a gut-level mammalian belonging.

This sounds incredibly trite, but The Smiths might have summed it up best in "How Soon Is Now?":

When you say it's gonna happen now,
Well, when exactly do you mean?
See I've already waited too long
And all my hope is gone

The damnable thing is that all my hope isn't gone. Not yet. But what am I hoping for? A doctor to awaken me and reveal that I've spent a third of my life immersed in some fiendish virtual reality? Suddenly meeting the woman of my dreams (right on cue for Valentine's Day)? Open contact with benign extraterrestrials? All of the above?