When I was twenty I could only explain myself in terms of the person that I would become. The degree I was pursuing, the books I was reading, the girls that I was trying to fuck. There was intent and affect but very little substance. Over time the aspirational conceit faded, I didn’t know what I wanted to do but I had a sense of who I was independent of context. I knew my values and beliefs even if I didn’t have a clear venue in which to apply them.
By the end of my twenties I developed an appreciation for the collective we. The small sort at least. I found peers that held similar values and quality of interaction over common experience. There was continuity and I dug them and us enough that I felt anchored and accomplished in the world. I matured and grew, fell in love, hung out, became an adult in many of the ways one is supposed to. It was surprisingly satisfying being a reputable member of grown up society. And then everyone started having children.
I like Otters. I find them adorable and engaging and mischievous. Were I to discover Otters in my backyard I’d be happy to feed them and cavort the day away, before I sent them home to the river bank. And yet, if those adorable sons of bitches woke me up everyday at 6am to feed and cavort with them, and then steadfastly refused to return to the river bank where they belonged, that affection would quickly sour into a deep resentment for the parasitic intrusion into my life. And man, would I talk about those Otters to anyone who’d listen: how round their paws were, how flat their rock was, their smashing technique for fifty seven different kinds of mollusks. I wouldn’t want to, but all I’d see all day are these filthy fucking Otters so what the hell else can I talk about. I’d read a book, but if I turn away for a second Otis starts gnawing on powerlines!
Point being, I’m not really down with having children. As I age, however, this aversion forces a certain social disconnect. There is this gradual outsourcing of Id and a shifting of the locus of identity onto the next generation that I am definitively not a part of. I feel like a Mayfly in mid July trying ignore the husks of my friends and the awkward glances of the pupae surrounding me. Selfishly I miss the freedom and dynamism we used to have, and the sense that we were on the same journey. Despite the fact that my position would result in the extinction of the human race I still feel somehow wronged. Do I miss being young, or, am I just troubled by the mounting evidence of my profound sociopathy? Time will tell.