Magic Pills

I’m tired of being old.

There. I said it.

And I know that fifty is not exactly old, but it sure as hell feels like old to me. My brother-in-law once said something once that is perhaps the only profound words I’ve ever heard him speak (he’s a basement-dweller in his late 30s, still living off his parents, to give you an idea of his personality), but everyone says something with real heft every once in a while. Well, most people do anyway.

For context, he was talking about the game Fallout 3 when he said, “I wish I could take a pill and forget ever playing this game. Then I could play it and everything would be awesomely new all over again.”

As it stands, his words are more of an indictment than wisdom, but I got to thinking about that hypothetical pill and wishing I could have a do-over with life. Not because I have regrets (although I have those aplenty), or that I want to be young again (though I wouldn’t mind that either) — but I wouldn’t mind retaining the wisdom I’ve acquired (so I can avoid those regrets and mistakes) and go ahead an re-experience shit. Not the same shit, though I wouldn’t mind the same time period starting maybe when I was between thirteen and sixteen. I might have done some things different. Essentially, I would like a “new game +” for life, as silly as it sounds.

I don’t know that I’d have let myself turn into Joe Normal with a reasonable job, and a reasonable family, and a reasonable house in the suburbs. Part of me wishes I had pursued different goals: Like keeping up with music and writing even more than I have. Like keeping my flamboyancy, my gauze, lace, “feminine appearances”, and goth attire. Like becoming a drifter, or someone content with minimal ownership like I once was.

Maybe it’s just the current politics combined with Covid that makes me feel this way, but I often feel trapped — like a caged animal — aching for freedom from who I am now.

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