Retire in Peace

We call it Retirement. AARP membership. Half-price discount at Denny’s. Hilarious whispered memoirs of past exploits tweeted through dentures. Texted tales told without a cellular phone in an old folks’ home about sex from a little blue pill.

A menopausal Ouroboros. Death eating away at life like a caterpillar. What will the currently retired leave behind for the rest of us to live? Will the current chrysalis of the Boomer generation be the undoing of America? Will the butterfly that emerges be a youthful generation ready to take on the problems of a collapsing domestic infrastructure and global economics? Or will the dialogue again frame itself around capitalism and imperialism?

It doesn’t look like my generation will get any of that rest, that twilight of a siesta that slowly congeals later in life. It looks like we are going to be the first generation that will have to be okay with living the rest of our lives chained to debt and passing that debt on through death.

Instead of the pyramids we read about as kids and the treasures we saw in Indiana Jones, we get to leave a mountain of stinking debtor feces to our offspring. Our afterlife will not be some pleasure place where we will be surrounded by the positives in life. It will be the place where we pass the pitfalls on as debt to our sons, daughters, nieces, and nephews.

And yet, I have found someone that has caused me to discontinue following this line of thought. As overwhelming and massive as all of this can be some days when the news is on or walking by a newspaper stand, or scanning the television even once or so a week, or perusing the twitterverse and facebookland. As massive and all-consuming as all of that noise can be….

…when she walks into a room, or when I hear her laugh, all of that becomes the sound of the bubbles leaving Dustin Hoffman’s mask in The Graduate. Even Simon and Garfunkel’s “Hello Darkness, this old friend…” does not penetrate the warmth of her fire. Where once I saw insurmountable piles of junk, I now seek metaphrasis. That is, I seek a new translation of an old story–the complexities of our time–into something more distilled that people can work with–I don’t think solutions is the right word. The world and its problems are not some math equation to be balanced. The Butterfly Effect is a very real threshold to consider carefully when crossing.

This is not some sappy case of rendering my mind ineffectual. In fact, it is more likely, I will retire in peace. I see the wave more clearly now. The fairway lies in front under a little cover. But the skies are blue, the grass is green and lush. Life is good and now we can get down to business. Right after I take a nap. That Senior Omelet filled me up.

Little Blue Eyes
The One in Pingyao

It has been ten months since we first spoke, Little Blue Eyes. I love you, dearly. To speaking today, and many millions more days in the future.

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