I don't like getting old--I don't like what happens to the mind and the body over time. I hate even bringing the subject up, since I don't like complaining about every shortcoming and disappointment. Truthfully, I like being alive, even in late middle age. Trouble rolls steadily throughout a whole lifetime. For every decade there's a new fight to be true to oneself, new obstacles to push through.
My teenage years and my early twenties, ages 15 to 25, more or less, were years of tumult I would not want to repeat. (Everybody dreams of this--to be young and know what we know now.) I see the familiar pained looks in the eyes of students that I remember from forty years ago, so the developmental stages appear fairly consistent and probably immutable. So, typically, I don't envy the young. I had all that and wasted none of it. But watching this OCWOBackyard video from two and a half weeks ago makes me wish I were eighteen again, with a huge fenced-in back yard, and three rowdy pals like Arjun, Creed, and Matt Steel to wallop on. I can't help it. This adolescent swagger--as twilight falls, and girlfriends sulk in the background--puts a big loopy smile on my face.