I’m telling you, I’m getting old. Not just endangered mammal old, but human old (technically, for a panda, I’m practically a senior citizen). But this past weekend, I went back to the same campus bar that I would frequent three or four times a week not more than 6 months ago. I used to be able to walk in, not have to show my ID to any of the bouncers that worked there, not have to give my name when I closed my tab because they knew my name, and the only thing I told the bartender when I went to get a drink was how many whiskey and Sprite’s I wanted at that particular point. But not anymore. Now, there was only one employee that knew me by name. I had actually grab my ID out of my wallet. Who the heck do these fools think they are? I have given way too much of my money to that bar to be treated like some Sophomore looking motherfucker trying to sneak into one of the upperclassmen bar. And the strangest thing is that I didn’t know a single person there. Not, “I didn’t see a single person that I talk to there,” nor, “I didn’t see a single person I give a shit about.” I mean I didn’t know anyone. I didn’t even know which of the girls would be getting too drunk and going home with the ugly guy with a speech impediment. I didn’t know which of the guys would be kicked out for trying to start a fight. I didn’t know which guy would get really drunk and try to hit on the DD from a group of young ladies, but is too drunk to get out a complete sentence without burping or hiccupping. I didn’t even know which crazy bitch would start crying halfway through the night.
That experience at the bar got me to start thinking, and that is when I made the disturbing discovery that I was getting old. Earlier in that same week, when I was out drinking with some of my other friends, I found us talking about things that happened way back in high school. That’s when I realized that I’m getting fucking nostalgic. At 22 years old. Maybe it’s the fact that I have been known to be mature beyond my years. Maybe it’s because my hairline is receding and I’m thinking back to the times when my hair was long. Maybe it’s because I’ve always strived to be like Harrison Ford, and I always liked to imagine that Harrison Ford sits around his mansion dressed up as Han Solo carrying around a mock blaster pistol making “pew, pew” noises at imaginary Stormtroopers, just waiting for someone to compliment him so he can tell them, “I know.” Or maybe it’s just because I’m a bitter fuck that loves to complain about people who are different than me. But whatever the reason, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about things, and how great life used to be back in the days when I was a kid.
You know, I always used to hate when people said, “Back in my day, we used to do this, and that.” But it’s something that couldn’t be truer nowadays. I mean, I used to grow up in a time when if you didn’t pay attention to what you were doing, playing on the playground could get you sent to the hospital, but now you have these fucking ridiculous rainbow colored plastic shits without a single pointed corner or loose screw in it. I used to grow up when an awesome night didn’t involve getting drunk on the half bottle of Fleischman’s that my older brother left at home the last time he came home from college. Rather, we’d get 6 people together, take four cars to BW3, eat a bunch of wings, played pool in the bar section until they kicked us out for not being 21, and heading back to a friends house to down a 12-pack of Mountain Dew while watching the unedited edition of SuperTroopers. I grew up in a time when we had our best friends’ phone number memorized and could tell the difference in voice between the family members of your friends. I grew up in a time when I thought that candy corn was all right. Our orange juice had ungodly amounts of pulp in it. I grew up in a time when we didn’t make booty calls or hook up, we got in meaningful relationships with people we actually cared about and had feelings for and maybe, if in a couple of months the feelings between the two of you grew enough to the point where you told each other, “I love you,” even though your combined age was barely in the thirties and combined maturity age maybe hit twenty-two and neither of you really knew what you were getting yourself into either physically or emotionally but for some reason you both were kind of comfortable with it (despite the fact that saying those three words would ultimately, instead of bringing you closer together for a long, long time, lead to your relationship disintegrating because she thought you were only using her for the sex that you weren’t having, and thus because of the arguments that ensued because of the disparity of the two views of what you meant by saying, “I love you,” you had years of botched relationships and poor decision making because you’re too unresponsive to emotion because of everything that went down years ago), you might get a kind-of handjob through your cargo shorts maybe, like, twice. I grew up in a time that if I skinned my knee, I took an aerosol can and sprayed shit on it that made it hurt MORE.
Some of you are probably starting to think that perhaps I need to take a chill pill. Maybe it’s just the natural progression. Maybe times are supposed to change. Maybe the old things need to be pushed aside for the young bucks. I say maybe. But I also offer up these maybes as well: Maybe I’m supposed to be looking back, getting upset at all these things. Maybe I am supposed to be thinking about all these things that make no sense and telling the world about it. Maybe I was meant to be a real life Batman, watching over Gotham with a careful eye, doing the deeds that nobody else has the backbone to do.
This is community service. This is my gift to you.
Take it easy,