Kids. The catalyst of many conversations when you’re 27 years old and don’t have or want any. I tell you, those little shits can make anything uncomfortable well beyond being a figment of anyone’s imagination. Let’s slow down a little, I don’t have an aversion to kids, per se. I just like things a specific way. I also like things hectic and chaotic. I enjoy wine whenever I want to. When sleep comes, I let her ravish me as long as she’d like without interruption. I completely understand that people with children also enjoy these small luxuries. I also understand that children bring out a side of you that you never thought existed. A different kind of love you never thought you’d know. Fine and dandy. That’s just not my shot of whiskey. Generationally speaking, I’m not alone in this never-ending explanation of why kids aren’t my “thing”. It’s a topic that has awkwardly plagued many colleagues and peers of mine at family functions and outings with parent friends. It’s an issue that we’ve been, by proxy, unable to answer because our true answers are 1.) not good enough and/or 2.) rude to the one doing the questioning. For anyone with a normal self esteem, any one of these two effects to answering kid questions is daunting.
A lot of my reasoning for remaining kidless definitely stems from observing people with kids. Although most of them are very happy with their bundles of joy I can’t help but see how lax they become with their own hopes and dreams. How easy it is to just give up on you for the sake of the little ones. This is in no way me being judgemental. I just know, personally, that I have enough shit happening daily that keeps me from living in my dreams without kids. It seems really easy to let the little ones inadvertently take the blame for not being where you want to be in life. I can’t see myself giving up my selfish ways of spending all of my time on me and who/where I want to be in the near and distant future. One thing I’ve felt bad about saying until recently is that I feel sorry for people who had kids before their 21st birthday. At 27 I feel that those years were some of the most valuable years of my life. I made so many mistakes, learned so many lessons, and experienced the world in a different way than ever before. I’m thankful that those years, for me, weren’t lost to parenthood. Now, I’m thankful that I get to live as a young adult with a career learning, growing, making mistakes, and experiencing without having to worry about another mouth to feed (besides my animal).
To my peers, and the people younger than me, with children speak honestly with me. Do you feel you compromised some of the best years of your life for your little bundles of snot and sunshine? Do you wish you could redo it? This is a no judgement zone. Cross that line and I will come for that ass so please speak freely and without judgements. I’d love to hear opinions.
While perusing Facebook before bed, like any good millennial, I came across the picture below. (Please notice, I left the watermark of whoever came up with thi ls shit. I don’t want the credit at all.)
“Could you do this?!” the post asks. Could I do it?! I would do this shit for a year’s supply of Chipotle. I would kick this bet’s ass for three month’s worth of Lime-A-Rita’s and Slim Jims. Are you fucking kidding me? I’d willfully untether myself from the bullshit that phones, social media, and the Internet at large propagate. Without any real statistical knowledge, I think it’s safe to say that 75% percent of the “people” I interact with on a daily basis I wouldn’t be caught dead with in real life. This is whether I know them or not. Another 10% of that I don’t know and will probably never meet, namely because I don’t care to. I’d pay $3 million to go three months without being reachable. I’d love to say that I’ve only come in contact with people because honest efforts were made.
Call me misanthropic, but I think that’s what’s gone awry with society and specifically my generation and the one after. At this point, it’s cliched but we really spend little time interacting with each other on a face to face level and I do feel it’s somehow disconnecting us with reality. We are all living in this metaphysical bubble of 140 characters and memes. It’s so scary, it’s funny. I am not without flaws and anytime I come up with something witty I all but shit myself trying to get it on Facebook. I, too, am the problem.
At any rate, I think it’s important for our own sanity to detach ourselves every now and then. I know it’s hard to deal with people face to face but if it’s a choice, it shouldn’t be a punishment. I think.
Since I’ve come into adult hood I’ve realized that when it’s time to sleep, I’m too damn tired to even try to be vigilant of any post REM dreams that may be happening. I just can’t give a shit. There’s this one
dream nightmare, though, that has stuck with me for a few weeks now. It’s got some holes in it as I try to recant it, but the gist is apparent.
I’m at a wedding. Not sure if it’s mine or I’m just an innocent bystander to this nonsense but it’s outside and everyone’s in white. Freaked me the hell out too. I feel like I was just a guest because I’m sitting in the audience on one of those white faux wood folding chair things that I could only imagine exist for such occasions. Where we are in the wedding, at this point, is unclear but the atmosphere seems innocent enough; there’s quiet banter, a live orchestra/band is playing, people are roaming about the yard. I guess from that description we can infer that we are in the midst of reception. Whatever, here comes the good shit.
I’m pretty sure my dream-self wasn’t sitting there waiting for middle earth to explode and a war of the worlds to unfold but that’s exactly what happened. One second, it’s a bright and serene setting and the next it’s a clash of the fucking titans as these Congolese war lords climb out of topiary and instantly start going ape shit with their battle axes and sabers. I kid you not, it was a scene from Hotel Rwanda and Wedding Crashers. The skies were blood-red and stricken with smoke from where ever the hell bombs came from. The canopy was tattered and flailing in the wind. There was blood everywhere. EVERYWHERE. I am in a full-fledged fight for my life.
At this point, it gets pretty vague and blurry. I’m pretty sure a minotaur made an appearance. Most of what I remember here involved me in a hand to hand situation with the biggest, ugliest humanoid I’d ever seen. Being that I live in New York, it’s safe to judge real life meetings, as well as in my dreams. This is about the time that I wake up in a WTF, panicked, “oh shit I’m late for work” moment.
Again, I’m not one to relish on my dreams and determine what they mean and if they have some existential effect on my life. I just thought that the one that continues to haunt me is some Sci-Fi bullshit that is so far removed from the person that I am. Why can’t I be haunted by Beyoncé?
Last night was super spiritual.
I watched Scandal, I poured a glass of wine, and I took a shower. Then, after said shower, I stood in front of a mirror. Sans clothing. Sans a towel. Sans everything I thought I loved and defined me. I stood there in all of my 27 year old glory and admired the work that I’d done. I reveled in my tattoos; from the ones with stories to the ones where I can barely remember what I drank that night. I bathed in the ambiance of the muscle tone that I’d built on dedicating myself to the gym sometimes. I thanked the universe for every grey hair. I breathed a sigh of relief that my stomach protrudes nothing. I relinquished my feelings of old age to feelings of coming of age. My age. I’m 27. I’ve been granted that many years to do something. To be something. I think I’ve spent them well.
It doesn’t mean a damn thing, though, without my mother. My lighthouse. The one person who, amongst all my extra shit, stood in the front row and cheered me on. I was her first. She’ll tell you she made plenty of mistakes with me but I can only name one; my little brother. She gave me, literally handed me, the confidence to be me. She unadulterated her love for her children so that we could be fearless in this world. She filled us with the best morals and music the world could offer and, when the time came, made us leave. She made us, me, experience the world. She traveled with us and gave us a sense of gratitude for what others may not’ve had. She didn’t mold me. She flourished me. I fear having children of my own because I know I’ll never be half the parent she was.
There were rough times but we forgave each other. She taught me that. She taught me to love without boundary. She taught me to see without limit. She gave me the confidence to be the man of someone’s dreams. She gave me the confidence to be a man.
Last night wasn’t a celebration of me and my birthday. It was an appreciation of the journey my mother started on this night, 27 years ago, that led to the following morning of her taking on a life. Taking on a life and nourishing it in every possible way. All that I was, all that I am, and all that I’ll ever be is because of her, my mama. I couldn’t be more blessed and comforted in knowing that at 27 years old, I am a product of her.
There’s this man at the office. He’s disturbing. Well, from what I gather. We don’t work directly with each other and I only see him in passing: by the copier, in the break room, shit like that. Anyway, he just gives off this aura that he keeps body parts jarred in his freezer. He smells of cold coffee and stale farts and when he walks he mumbles inaudibly to himself.
I was sitting in my car one morning, dreading another day in that shit zoo of an office while listening to Elvis Duran when I look up to see that he’s parked in the spot in front of me and to the left. No eye contact was made, thank god. I concluded that I would try and maintain this winning status. After making a few quick glances I saw him looking down and making some uncomfortable (to me) movements, concluding I had no idea what the fuck he was doing. And then it happened.
He spit in his hand and went back to work.
I’m at FedEx today, mailing off a package (something typically done at a FedEx). I’d been here numerous times so the guys there and I can always banter and joke back and forth. Today, we were discussing guns. I know. Let me finish. The guy helping me was jokingly telling me a story of how he’d blown one of his fingers off while firing a rifle. I didn’t know this was a joke at the time and was confused as to how the fuck you could blow one finger off with a rifle! Nor did I realize he was actually missing a finger. As he was showing me the collateral (or lack there of because holy fuck the finger was gone) his coworker chimed in to inform me that, in fact, that is not how he lost his finger. Apparently, he’d actually tried to jump a barbed wire fence and lost. I grimaced by nature, and then the funny shit happened.
The fingerless label maker proceeded to suddenly remember that the anniversary of him losing his finger is this weekend. How does one celebrate this occasion? He has a get together with his friends at Applebee’s. He buys the table finger-food. They buy him alcohol. I hit the fucking floor.
To me it’s a tragic situation to walk around less than a whole. I’d absolutely hate losing any sort of external body part. Then comes this guy, all good natured and light hearted and shit, celebrating the loss of his finger by drinking and buying his friends finger-food.
Genius. Pure fucking genius. Good on you sir. The world needs more people with his outlook.
There’s a true skill in pissing everyone off. At the sight of you, they begin to roll their eyes in distaste. Your presence brings an air of confidence clouded in pretentiousness. When you speak, they listen but their minds race with what they wish they could say to you. You command respect and receive it, but at the cost of them mocking you behind your back. You don’t care. You don’t care. You enter the room, handle your business, and when you’re done you leave a lingering fragrance of Burberry Brit behind you.