by Justin Fish
as young as I used to be. I can tell by the aches,
the pains, the white hairs slowly creeping across
my scalp like noodles through a cornfield. Every
day, more noodles. Every day, fewer ears of corn.
And the only way this simile has any chance
whatsoever of working is to imagine noodles as
white instead of beige and my hair as green or
yellow, tall, and full of woodchucks. But
you get the idea.
I am getting
older. Thats what Im trying to
not depressed about it. In fact, Im quite
relieved. I am ready to embrace the future. For
where else but in the future does everything
unfold exactly as planned?
Oh, I had
dreams. I was going to be a successful something
or other, doing this or that, exactly as planned. I
was going to travel the world. I was going
to give up my career with who on Earth knows and
take on a challenge that involved actual work,
and then say, Heck with this, and go back to
being lazy. I had it all planned out.
I had fully
expected to age gracefully, my accumulated wisdom
oozing out of my pores for all to see and smell. I
would walk down the street and people would fall
to their knees and cry out, Oh, bless me,
please, Bearer of Ancient Wisdoms who smells of
gifts to be bestowed! You certainly have aged
gracefully, just as we expected, and your lithe
suppleness in combination with your taut and
bulging muscles inspire me to better myself and
my neighbors! Especially my neighbors.
And I would
raise a hand and squint at the heavens, and doves
would take flight from my pockets, and elephants
would appear behind me trumpeting their praises.
I would finally awaken from my self-adoring
rapture, and the sun would be glinting off gold
and silver strewn at my feet.
hasnt happened yet. I sometimes do see
bright flashes, but supposedly thats normal
and happens to everyone.
not disappointed, because thats a lot of
pressure right there, the whole bless the world
thing. And Im guessing it involves a
lot of walking, and Im not sure I have the
So I eagerly
embrace future unknowns and uncertainties. I
have come to believe that any path worth
traveling winds through trees and meanders
through meadows. It leads across rivers and under
fallen logs. If you are lucky, you will find
yourself scaling mountain tops and swimming
oceans. And if youre unusually
fortunate, at this point you will be merely lost
and not dead, for all that wandering about sounds
a bit risky, if not downright dangerous.
But you should
feel free to do whatever you like. Dont say
I didnt warn you.
to stick to what I know. The future will
unfold as it desires, and I look forward to it.
But Im not making any plans, by golly,
because I know better.