Friday, July 2, 2010

BBQ Milkshakes

I've never been particularly good at remembering the past. I'm sure it drives everyone I know crazy, but I can never remember when things happened, who I was with when they happened, or sometimes really what happened. A lot of times, it sort of feels life is this giant, not-so-connected jumble of anecdotes, floating around the mist of memory. I know some people who have these razor-sharp memories of everything that ever happened to them, and I kind of envy it. It's kind of helpful for writers to actually remember stuff.

I'm also ... ha ha ... not particularly good at living in the here and now. I would make a lousy Buddhist. I rarely know where I am when driving, unless I've been on that road a billion times.

I am, however, VERY good at living in the future. This is my chosen time-space. I love anticipating what's next. I can literally spend all week excited about a dinner on Saturday or a certain day when fireworks will be lit. Sometimes, when we have an open day, I like anticipating the day almost as much as living it. "I know! We can go to the park! No wait, to the movies! Forget that, let's drive to Miami and get Cuban food! The beach! Let's rent a boat! Parasailing anyone! Better yet, let's go fishing! Or maybe I should learn how to play taiko drums!"

I see life as a rolling crescendo ... always progress, each thing building upon the last, always heading toward something, some distant shining goal or city on the hill. I'm almost 40 years old now, and I STILL wonder what I'll be doing when I grow up, even though I'm pretty much already doing what I'll be doing when I grow up because I'm pretty much already grown up.

If aging freaks me out at all, this is why. I can't really imagine a time when the focus shifts from what will happen, from the delicious possibilities of tomorrow, to what has already happened. I can't imagine a time when the future loses its potency because it has already been lived. I don't know how I'll cope with such a thing—and as much as anything about aging, this really scares me. I hate the idea that I'll have to look back to find something to look forward to.

My secret hope is that when that time comes, I'll rescale my anticipation to fit into whatever assisted-living facility my children have stuck us (me and wife) in, or whatever room I find myself lodged in as a codger. Jell-O later? Or wait ... chocolate pudding! Forget that ... I want graham crackers soaked in milk! Wait, wait, wait ... doesn't McDonald's have BBQ-flavored milkshakes now? Let's have somebody get those!

I don't think enthusiasm is much to ask for out of life.


Natasha Fondren said...

I couldn't agree more. Enthusiasm makes life tons more fun. Although I have as much fun the day of as looking forward to it. :D

Jon VanZile said...

Not bad ... I find myself getting especially enthusiastic about food, ha ha.

Jude Hardin said...

Maybe that's the key to happiness, always having something to look forward to.

Melanie Avila said...

I hadn't put it in these words before, but I think I'm much the same way. I live my life waiting for the next event and get depressed when I don't have something to look forward to. June and July have been packed with events and I've barely been able to contain myself, but I much prefer that state of being.

I do try to stop now and then and take stock of moments while I'm in them. It really astounds me sometimes where I am now, and the turns my life has taken seem almost bizarre.

Missed Periods said...

But, that is the wonderful thing about being a writer. There will always be something new to write. At least that's what calms me down when I think about getting older.

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