I have always been hysterically and hyperbolically morbid about the concept of Age. It’s not a quality I’m particularly proud of, partly because it’s one so endlessly exploited by the era of the internet and its accompanying relentless nostalgia. I resent that my own neurosis about the transient nature of time has so easily been subsumed by a digital savannah of cliches and clickbait, and a crop of even younger people wearing clothes that, heretofore, I have seen only on Shania Twain.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about capital-letter Age and Time more than usual. There are a number of reasons for this, not least of which is that I work now on a college campus where an entirely new batch of students has come in to my view, and they have a reverence for a time they did not live in — but I did.
My internal clock stopped around 2000. In my Truth, movies like Ocean’s 11 came out a couple years ago. Perhaps the trauma of Y2K — as you’ll recall we all lived in bunkers for days, surviving on nothing but gallon drums of water and gun powder — was enough to freeze my consciousness in time, or, just maybe, I have finally come to experience the past-sell-by-date anxiety that comes from the VMAs no longer being geared at my high school class.
Why it alarms me that people I went to college with are now entering their 30s, I can’t say with certainty. I’m sure they live full existences, not consistently concerned about their pending mortality. Actually, I’m not sure of that at all. They probably act the same way I do, only looking anxiously at their peers and mentors and former beer pong opponents staring down 40.
I don’t have a point to all of this. If you’re looking for one, there’s no shame in jumping ship now. I have no more relevant movie clips to share.
It simply fascinates and terrifies me, the fleeting nature of time — how one year, I write a goal to empty, routinely, the Tupperware containers in the back of the fridge, and how, in the blink of an eye, another year has gone by and all that is left of that promise are some merely adequate words on a screen and a fungal infestation on what once was grilled chicken.
Will that moldy poultry be my legacy someday? Like the scraps of paper, half-finished to-do lists or photos torn into two to erase jealous lovers are for the generations before us? Will this site and its timeboxed contents be as compelling in 100 years as the snapshots of humanity on Letters of Note? Probably not, but do not feel the need to answer that. It was rhetorical.
I am 27 and this is silly. Understood. And if I were truly concerned and ambitiously morbid, I would be penning a will instead of indulging in WordPress. That said, if I die tomorrow, won’t someone please make sure my dog doesn’t eat the chicken in the back of the fridge? Or drink the milk. It’s expired. No, not that milk. The one behind it. OK, that milk, too.