After my birthday, I was laying in bed considering how very I lucky I am to have such wonderful family and friends and how fortunate I am that we can all laugh so well together. Laughter is the glue that binds all humanity and the closest expression of love I think we know. Then, as that initial joyfulness wore off, I became slightly more aware of my new age bracket. I couldn't help but think how curious it was that I have made it this far. Considering the fact that I almost choked to death on my own lunch today. (Seriously, I almost choked on a damn burrito tortilla. Missed me this time El Bandito).
Time, as they say, is fleeting. And for the most part I'm quite inclined to agree with them. I've seen the majority of my life flash before me like a Nigerian in a marathon and I've only been able to clap briefly on the sidelines as he cruised by me, barefoot. That's like, four seconds of clapping for my own life as it ran by me. I'm not even sure if he'll win.
I've never been bothered by my own mortality. I'm fully aware of the fact that someday I will die. That's never bothered me at all. What worries me is not leaving anything worthwhile behind. I'd hate to just be a minor speck of dirt on the muddy sole of the universe's shoes scraped off with a cosmic stick and flung into some black hole trash can. I'd like to be remembered.
I'm not saying I want fame or even infamy. I just don't want to be forgotten. My quest for some level of immortality seems to have started. Now I just need to find the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea and then the cup of Christ and then choose wisely. Yes, an Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade joke. Seriously though I would like to make my mark in some way. I would rather be a chapter in history than a footnote. I wouldn't mind a statue either if we're being honest.
You see, here's the rub though, I haven't done anything to deserve being etched into the social memory. I haven't made any kind of mark or even a chip into the granite of history. I'm not special. Or at least, not special enough to step out from the shadows of populated obscurity and really be something. I mean, I've eaten my fair share of burritos without choking, wait... scratch that.
I guess the older we get, the more the world changes beneath our feet, we begin to wonder what our legacy will be. Will I get a statute or will I ever meet the right girl and have children with her, thus securing my legacy and at least a little generational immortality? Is it possible that someday, long after I'm gone, I'll be re-born because some curious high schooler finds my old book of poetry and starts passing it around among his friends, like I did with so many long gone poets? Would that be enough immortality? I don't know because I'll be dead. Curses.
I look at my friends however, those friends that have a few years on me, maybe ten or even twenty and they are still discovering things about themselves, their relationships and what they want out of their lives. It gives me hope that while I am getting older (and statue-less for the time being) I'll probably be okay. Well, unless the crippling loneliness gets to me. But even then I suppose there's still time. There's always time. Until there's none and usually by then it's too late anyway.
That's the paradox of aging I suppose, once you sort of figure it all out, you can't do much with it because your bones are half dust and your eyesight has deteriorated to the point of near blindness. I wonder if that's why I see so many older people with a wry smile on their faces. I wonder if they sit, quietly, listening and watching all the while thinking, "Suckers", before chuckling to themselves, remembering the burrito that almost killed them.