I always liked that phrase. I have to tell you that I’m more than a little pissed that when I became an adult in the 1960’s I was told to to grow up and ‘take some responsibility for yourself”. That traditional farm community analog is antiquated and belongs to another generation. In the middle ages children were expected to start working in single digits. In my parents generation people were getting married at sixteen and middle age at twenty nine. An unmarried women in 1957 was snickered at as being an umarriageable ‘spinster’….a social misfit…a pariah…. barren…..strange, possibly a witch.
In the Canada of 2012 childhood has been extended to where most don’t consider entering an occupation until they are in their thirties. I want some of that. I don’t want to grow up. I have set aside my profession, whatever it was, and indulge my fantasies, whatever they are. The work ethic outside the First World economies is frightening. Few country cultures outside the G8 have any appreciation for what has been achieved by members of the western civilization. As the world gets smaller I fear that the lifestyle I enjoy today will be buried under the runaway success of people whose struggles to the top of the food chain have not included an appreciation of ‘lifestyle’ as a prerequisite.
I have an idea that this last few generations of western civilization may at some point in the future be heralded by historians as a time of temporary and unsustainable decadence, a weak spark of light against the dark tapestry of time. I have decided to be one of the last inhabitants on Planet Earth to have achieved a state of grace, to live without labor. I’ll be that solitary man standing on the railway track of progress, waving my rainbow peace flags at the onrushing train of whats coming next.
I have already been unofficially reclassified as a ‘dinosaur’ , statistics now count me as a visible minority in a land my great grandfather claimed from another race who’d seen better days…..such is the hard hand of evolution. I won’t go quietly into the twilight . I plan to run with scissors, crash into pedestrians barriers, navigate backwards down the one way streets of life’s highways…and just piss people off while they’re on their way to work, to let them know that I live to spite politically correct opinion, for no other reason than to prove that life is for living and not to walk a straight line of zombie-like responsibility between the womb and the grave.
Roaming troupes of clowns and troubadours used to do my job, alleviating stress and providing welcome relief from daily drudgery, they sang songs and acted out; clowns didn’t have social media, the internet or gold credit cards. I want to drive my car until I run out of gas, use the rest of my cash to get off the continent, hitch-hike until I run out of road, jump into the sea, swim for the horizon and discover a new land…..and find love everlasting until a new day dawns. “Rage, rage against the coming of the light”, said Oscar Wilde in his brutally honest way.
I don’t want to grow up…dammit….! I’d like to think that at some future date parents will frighten their fussing children with stories about my life…..’Once upon a time…..there was a man….who wouldn’t conform……who slept out side….who walked among the stars as if they were hot coals under his feet’…..who never found a home his soul would claim…
‘Once upon a time there was this man who……..?’ Let the new creation myth begin.