In tandem

Recently, another life milestone passed.

The kind that you don’t really look forward to nor reflect on. However, as it approached, I felt overcome with dread… not enough to send me to the store to pick up a pack of cigarettes in an effort to feel like I can cheat death from old age by killing myself slowly from lung cancer.

It has become painfully obvious that my youth has been taken hostage. No longer do I feel able to relate to the struggles of today’s youth. I find myself relating to those older than me with much more ease than ever thought possible. Were they right all this time? …or are we, in parallel, witnessing our viewpoints evolve… perhaps they’re at the front of a tandem bicycle and I’m helping drive us forward… together.

At least, that’s what I’ll keep telling myself for now.

I worry about a point in time where I don’t feel like there is someone on the front of this bike anymore. Where I look up and see that they’ve vanished… and all I can do is look back to see if they fell off. …but what do I find? someone younger, more abitious, more driven, but more naive… chasing me… and they’re on the same bike. Pedaling harder than me… pushing me forward… towards my impending death.

Then I wonder if any of us has any control over the direction we’re going… together. Are we able to get off the bike? Wander, by foot, in another direction? My own path. Do they need me on the bike? Am I helping speed up… or slow down our collective speed?

Is any of this sustainable?

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