It is said that with age and experience comes wisdom. I am not so sure that is true. I think that with age comes fear and apathy. The vigour of youth fading, realities of life constantly bashing one over the head, the dreams of creating a chapter in history remaining that; dreams.
The analogy of a chapter, a book, is relevant, even for those who do not read books, or see any worth in doing so. Let me elaborate.
The cover is hopeful. You liked the look of it, that’s why you picked it up. Further investigation – reading the back cover – will talk to your judgements: do you want to live through the chapters of this book or discard it or perhaps check it out at a later point? So many options. Just like in life, only difference is you started out as the book. You were perused, checked out at many various times in this library of life. The begin is intriguing, mildly interesting if not yet riveting. Then you move to the second act. You write the story. Even if you did not expect to.
The first people who saw you – unless you were unfortunate enough to be born to the sort of people who should never have children – were your parents. To them, you were an exciting novel, a cracking page turner. Day after day, a new adventure would befall them, taking them through every possible emotion, the pages turning rapidly. What a fantastic book! They need to share this. So what they do is, those damned fool parents, the imbecilic clods cart you off too the nursery. Not such a special book here. Loads of bleedin’ books here!
Some of these books have really nice covers. Pretty, new and shiny, screaming – literally – for attention. If you’re not that kind of book, you’re already falling behind, getting frayed at the edges. It okay though, there are plenty of other books to hang out with and when you get collected, you’re special again.
Bombshell. You’re parents have gone and got another book! It’s newer, noisier and – allegedly – more interesting. What can you do? Time to start writing some more pages, adding more chapters perhaps.
Getting older and, perhaps, a little repetitive. Maybe you need to write a different chapter, you know, where something different happens? Yeah! Genius! You’ll write the clubbing chapter and the drinking chapter(s) and the drug phase chapter(s)! So you do. So does everybody else.
Some were busier though. Some were writing parallel stories. Dual storylines! How had you never thought to do that? Apparently they had seen some of the more impressive tomes work like this. Oh. Did not know there were bigger books. Thought everyone had the same typewriter.
Well now you do know. Great. So the dual storyline is introduced. Can you…can you do that? Of course you can. You can write whatever you like. Bash away. So you write. And write. And write. The chapters still meander, coming back to a horrible familiarity. The rehash of previous chapters, description of near identical days, interactions, frustrations, celebrations.
You cannot of run out of things to write, can you? Have you? There has to be more. You cannot publish this! Even your own family won’t read it! You got a beginning, you know the end. You need to edit the middle; the second act. Otherwise you are going to have a very underwhelming epilogue .