An essay on getting older.
"Here are some of the things nice modern people talk about when they talk about getting old: (a) the nature of regret and whether it is too late or worth it to set things right; (b) fears of irrelevance; (c) what’s worse, dying too soon or living too long— and, of course, the money and the pain. Pain more than money. These bummers fight it out with any number of more copacetic, if possibly rationalized, koans (dialogue quoted verbatim) like (a) “to be older frees you from the suffocating anxieties and conventions of youth,” (b) “to be older is to be better at integrating the interior and exterior worlds,” and (c) “to be older is to be empowered to simply not give a fuck at any given moment.” Bo Diddley’s classic exhortation about having “a tombstone hand and a graveyard mind / I’m just 22 and I don’t mind dying” still sounded good. But no one I talk to, whatever their personal history or current circumstances, says they would have signed up for Achilles’ choice of living fast, dying young, and leaving a beautiful corpse."