I know the dead. I have spoken their names. They have pictures in their heads of what they want life to be like and they are in a hurry to get there. It goes a little something like this:
We are married. We have a nice house in a safe (read: suburban white) neighborhood. We have nice things. We have good careers and nice cars to take us to our air-conditioned offices. We are respectable members of society and spend our weekends caring for our yard and having fancy dinner parties for our equally bourgeoisie married couple friends who are just like us. We recycle. We donate to charity and take destination vacations. We are happy.
Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with this picture. On the contrary, this seems like a pleasant place to be when I am forty-five or so. What makes me sick are the people who are already there and haven’t even cracked twenty-five yet.
Much of the excitement of life is wondering about the future. It’s pathetic to see people grasping for security at an age when they still have enough mobility and flexibility to take risks. Unless fate slates you for an early bullet (what makes you think you’ll be that lucky?), you’re going to be on this earth a very long time. It’s completely irresponsible to make decisions at twenty-four that will affect the rest of your life.
Bottom line? Life is long and youth is fleeting. Don’t waste it playing family.