When Young, How To Grow Old Gracefully.

Ok, listen. Now that all the old folk are asleep, I can tell you.

When young there are certain things that you can make sure you do in order to grow old gracefully. As someone who is 87 years old today, I think I am in a position to comment on this too often ignored subject.

So.

When Young:

-Masturbate regularly and cut the shit about feeling guilty afterwards. Common. Just have fun and blow off steam.

-Make sure you sit in the sun, in as little clothes as possible, as much as possible.

-Be outside!

-Wear bathing suits as much as the climate permits.

-Use your body. Be physical as much as you can. This is very important because those who use their bodies as much as possible when young, age the best.

-Be creative in some way.

-Be naked. Be naked as much as you can. Your body will never look as good as it does now. Get over your insecurities and just be nude, preferably around others. If you are not naked now you will feel like you missed out on something very fundamental and important when older.

-Rebel. Humans are not meant to be fit in boxes. Our brains atrophy and we grow dumb when boxed in. A dumb older person is never an attractive thing. Rebel! Those who rebel when young often maintain their edge into older age. An older person with an edge is always a sexy thing.

-Party. Go to parties. Dress your best. Look sexy. Flirt. Socialize. Be out and about. Enjoy having other people check you out. Thank them because this will not last forever. People stop checking you out as you age. These will be some of the best times of your life and it is always those who partied more when young who have better stories to tell when old.

-Do some drugs. Enjoy drinking. Maybe even smoke for a period of time. These activities will loosen up your brain, let you unload and have fun. But know moderation. Those who abuse substances when young do not look good when old. Many don’t even get to get old because of their inability to be moderate.

-Meditate. Learn how to just be in states of peace. Be present for your life. You will learn how to be a less stressed out person. An older stressed out person is always an ugly sight.

-Again, use your body but in sexual ways. Be sexual! Your body will never be as ready for sex and as desired to be sexual with as it is when young. Growing older makes a person less desirable sexually and often less interested in sexual interaction. So use it while you got it. Fuck away! Have fun! Those who are more sexual when young always grow older more gracefully. It is the ones who have tons of sexual hang-ups when young who just become dicks and bitches as they age. They also tend to grow fat but this is often because they have given up on their bodies since their bodies were always such a threat.

-Be sexy. Look good! Girl or guy, make sure you put in the time to looking the best you can. Not only will you get a lot more attention but you will also have much more fun. You will feel better about yourself and you will be desired by everyone. A young person who is attractive to everyone when young always grows older with more confidence and civility. They tend to maintain their good looks into older age because they have developed the habit of putting in the time needed to look good.

-Read as much as you can. This will help your mind from atrophying and becoming like all these forgetful and inarticulate aging dumb vegetables I am now surrounded by. Reading helps to maintain a person’s attention span and an older person without an attention span just becomes a miserable, dumb, checked-out adult. We call these people Nimrods.

-Eat healthy food. Get enough protein so that your sex drive and brain cells have enough food. Take vitamins to slow the aging process. Eat a lot of raw green vegetables to preserve your gums and teeth. Most old people who look like shit and have rotting gums when old ignored these things.

-Don’t take yourself so fucking seriously. Get out of your fucking head. You are going to die. Everyone you know and everything you do is transitory. Stop with the bullshit. Get out of your fucking head and chill out. Enjoy being young. Get over your problems because when you get to my age you will not be able to remember what they were. This means that they do not matter. So have fun. Read. Exercise. Take care of yourself. Be outside. Be in your body. Fuck. Watch porn. Meditate. Socialize. Masturbate. Exercise. Wear bathing suits. Be naked. Hang out with other people your own age. Break rules. Be creative. Rebel. Party but learn moderation. Be free-spirited. Be wild. Be strange. Look good. If you don’t do these things I promise you will not grow old gracefully. You will just be a miserable, over weight old bore sitting on the couch unable to get off your phone. Trust me. I am surrounded by them.

Stuff To Make Sandwiches With

Mayonnaise.

All of our lives are running away from us and all we have to let us know that this is happening is our withered reflections when looking in mirrors. I am someone who is continually aware of how my life is running away from me. Often I will look at pictures of people in the 1950’s and 60’s and think about how their lives have completely run away from them. I am well aware that I am up against the same fate, every moment of every day.

I have a particular practice or daily exercise that I employ for better managing the feelings of dread and futility that arise when a person is aware of their life running away from them. I make sandwiches. I try to make at least two sandwiches a day but on a bad day I will make five. There is no greater satisfaction in my life than eating a sandwich that I have made. The thicker the better. I do not enjoy thin sandwiches. Thin sandwiches are for those who are not courageous. Thin sandwich makers are so afraid of the realities of life that they do everything to calorically restrict themselves so they can feel the illusory impression of being immortal and unaffected by aging. I prefer thick sandwiches because not only do they satiate the more fear prone parts of my brain, but they also allow me to better enjoy a life that I know is running away from me.

I use the healthiest bread that I can buy. This means bread with a high fiber and seed content. Not only is this bread delicious but I do not feel so guilty after eating large amounts of it. I know that I have superseded my daily recommended fiber intake and this helps me feel more confident about the workings of my bowels. I prefer using organic mayonnaise on whatever high fiber bread I use, but since my wife is vegan I normally have to resort to using organic vegan mayonnaise. The good thing about using organic vegan mayonnaise is that I can use larger amounts of it and not feel so doomed to coronary heart disease. I also like to use large amounts of organic spicy mustard, the names of which I can never pronounce. The combination of organic vegan mayonnaise and organic spicy mustard usually and temporarily suspends any kind of existential dread.

My wife and I both try to keep our refrigerator loaded with stuff to make sandwiches with. My wife is younger than I. Not much younger in terms of the span of human history on planet earth but much younger in terms of the deterioration of the human body. Fourteen years can make a massive difference when it comes to the ravages caused by aging. But because my wife also suffers from a certain existential awareness (a fundamental signifier of an intelligent mind) she too is aware of life running away from not only herself but also from her beloved husband and her even more beloved three dogs. In a way I envy her youth. Even if in youth a person is aware of their lives running away from them they still have the underlying comfort of knowing that they still have a good amount of time to lose. Once you are older, the awareness of life running away from you fills you with more despair (or denial) because you know you have much less time to lose.

My wife has picked up the sandwich making practice from me. She also finds it an effective way to deal with the awareness of a run away life. I appreciate that she dedicates just as much interest in keeping our fridge filled with stuff to make sandwiches with as I do. Because my wife is still young enough where she still has the ability to have an incredibly attractive figure (which often provides a person with the fit illusion of being immortal) she does not make her sandwiches as thick as I do. She usually makes her sandwiches with things like organic vegan cheddar cheese, organic sprouts, organic pickles, organic lettuce or organic kale and organic sauerkraut. For some reason she always insists on toasting her seeded wheat bread, which is something I never do. This is another luxury of being young- you feel like you have more time to spend on doing trivial things. I never toast my bread, only because I feel like I just do not have the time. For her she still has a good amount of time to give to such superfluous things. (This is why most good art, literature, film and music is made in youth. A young person has more time to spend passionately dedicated to such things. Once a person is older they just want to spend time with life or living because there is less time and energy to give towards working at things that feel more superfluous the older and sicker a person gets.)

I stuff my sandwiches with a plethora of different organic things. I use various kinds of organic nuts, organic onions, organic vegan cheeses, wild tuna or wild salmon from a can, organic humus, organic pickles, organic sprouts, organic vegan sausages (usually uncooked), organic cabbage, organic kale, organic mung beans, organic sauerkraut, organic habaneros and organic baked barbecue potato chips for extra crunch. I find that stuffing my sandwiches with things that create a crunch effect allows me to discharge a lot of the anger and frustration that I feel with regards to a life that is running away from me and everyone I love. Crunching is a very effective way to deal with this chronic frustration that I feel in my life.

It requires mindfulness and slow movements to keep everything in the sandwich, rather than falling out onto the plate. What I have found is that with the right positioning of everything inside the sandwich and with mindful movements, overboard condiments can be avoided when eating a thick sandwich. Whatever things do fall out on to my plate, I make sure to eat once I am finished eating my sandwich. I look as this as a kind of dessert.

My grandfather, on my father’s side, used to do a similar thing. After the age of forty he was also very aware of life running away from him. He often spoke about how he could not believe how much older everyone was getting. “One minute they were young and filled with life and now they are older and filled with all kinds of unwanted obligations, wear and tear,” he would say when talking about friends, family members, old lovers and celebrities that he liked. Every day for lunch he would eat a large hoagie sandwich. He lived in Philadelphia where there was a hoagie/steak sandwich establishment on every corner. Philadelphians obviously are also very aware of life running away from them and deal with it by making and eating very large sandwiches. Have you seen how big these things are? Some people refer to them as subs, because they are so long. My grandfather would eat one all to himself. Everyday. All alone. A sandwich filled with not organic cheese, meat, hot peppers, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, mustard, mayonnaise, vinegar and oil. He would shake not organic pepper and salt on top and whenever he took me to a hoagie place on one of my yearly visits he would always say, “It is all in the bread kid.” To this day I still believe that to be true but instead of using freshly baked white sourdough bread, I use high fiber wheat or rye seeded bread.

I have found that making sandwiches on a daily basis has been an effective, short-term way for me to deal with the day-to-day knowledge that my life is running away from me. The thicker the sandwich the better. But I also realize that this is a short term solution. I have to keep making sandwiches, sometimes several times a day in order for it to work. Once I am done making and eating my sandwich it is a matter of an hour or so before my sense of life going quickly by returns. I notice when it returns because I feel somewhat depressed. This is usually when I will make another sandwich. If I am away from my home and not able to make a sandwich I will settle for having one made for me. It does not work as well, but it still eases the pain of knowing that it is all quickly passing by.

By the way, now it is Fall. I stay inside as much as I can when it is Fall. Fall is a season that can literally fall on you, so please proceed with caution. Look up, even as you eat sandwiches.

Conversation With My Twenty Seven Year Old Self. Conversation #42.

Haven’t seen you in a while.

Yeah.

How have you been?

I don’t know. Stressed out I guess.

Why stressed out? You are too young to be stressed out!

Yeah. But it doesn’t feel like that.

What do you mean?

I just feel like I am just existing. I’m not accomplishing anything or going anywhere. I have no idea what I’m going to do.

Hmmm.

Yeah. I have no sense of direction. I’m sad all the time but no one sees it. No one realizes how stressed out and upset I am. I hate that I feel this way but I do. I feel so unsure of myself that I can’t confidently make even the most basic decisions. I have no clue about anything.

That is not true man. You are a smart young man. You know a lot.

It doesn’t feel that way. I feel like I can never be sure about anything. I’m just so stuck in myself and it sucks. I don’t know how to get out. I have so many hang-ups and I’m sick of it.

So why don’t you just get a job? Just find a job doing something so that you can make some money and not have to be dependent on your parents. Don’t you think that would help?

I don’t know. I feel pressured by my parents and everyone else to make a decision. To do something, but I don’t know what it would be. It feels so confusing. I have no idea what I want to do and as a result I feel like I can’t commit to anything.

I see. Must be rough.

I don’t know. It makes me feel very uncomfortable. I can’t do anything without feeling guilty about it. I feel guilty about everything. Even just hanging out and drinking a beer or just listening to music makes me feel guilty. I feel like I should be doing what other people expect me to do. Like make a decision. Find a job.

Don’t you just want to find a job? wouldn’t that make things easier for you?

I don’t know. I guess a part of me feels like having a job would make me feel more accomplished and happier. I could have my own money and buy things I like. I know I feel guilty because I am just hanging out in my pajamas all day but I love doing this. But at the same time it makes me feel non-existent. Like I don’t matter in the world at all. This feeling nonexistent just feels like too much for me. I can’t take it.

So why not do something about it? Change it?

I’m trying. I started looking for a job but looking for a job makes me feel very anxious. Job hunting depresses the shit out of me. Makes me feel uncomfortable with myself.

Why?

I don’t know. I guess because I know I am spending all this time filling out these job applications but none of it will really matter. But I still have to do it to maybe find a job and the amount of time and energy this requires makes me feel very sad.

I see.

I just am going to have to apply to every single job I can. I know that in order to get one response I have to apply to a hundred jobs. I have to fill out every god damn application even though I don’t want to.

I know. It is rough.

In just three years I will be thirty. Time feels like it is ticking down for me. I feel guilty that I am not like every one else already making my own money and with a good job. I see people who are like this at much younger ages than I am. Makes me feel terrible about myself. I have to do something or I feel like I am going to die. I have to spend all my time looking for a job if I am going to find something. This makes me sad because I won’t be able to spend my time doing the things that I enjoy doing. I will have to give these things up.

You don’t have to give them up, you just might have to do less of what you want right now.

Maybe. But getting a job and becoming a real person just feels like I am going to have to give up so much of myself. I am going to have to go work most of my time and then the rest of the time I will be too tired to do the things I like. Maybe on the weekends I will have energy to do things I want to do but this makes me feel very sad.

What does?

That I will have to give up so much of myself. I will have to sell out. But I want a standard of living that I can feel ok about and I need a job to get to this spot. The barrier between getting from here to there just feels so strong that it feels impossible to achieve. I know I would feel better if I could advance to the next stage but I just have no idea how. My lack of progress just makes me very sad.

So why not just really make an effort to find some kind of job. Dedicate yourself to doing something! Write a book. Start something. Find a job. Just do something!

I know I need to do this. I know accomplishing something would make me feel happier but I’m the kind of person who will just keep doing the same thing if it feels comfortable. I know I need to change but it feels like it would require a massive effort. So I just keep doing what feels more comfortable.

Like what?

Like sleeping in, reading, watching TV, spending the day in my pajamas, watching films, sleeping. Not doing these things just feels like it would require such a massive effort. This makes me sad because just looking for a job or not sleeping twelve hours a night should not feel like such a massive effort. It should not feel like running a marathon. But it does. Now I feel guilty about everything I do. Skyscrapers of guilt have built up. I’m pissed off about everything. I need to find some way to alleviate all of this other than watching pornography or drinking beer and smoking pot. I feel like just finding a job is the only logical way that I could feel less guilty and be more happy. Isn’t this what society wants me to do? I feel stupid feeling the way that I do.

Don’t feel stupid. In a sense, what you are going through is normal. You are having to assimilate into society and as a result you feel like you have to lose a part of yourself. In a sense, you are right. You do lose a large part of yourself and your time. It hurts. Only the lucky few get to assimilate into society while staying true to themselves. It can be done but it is hard. In order to have a decent standard of living most of us have to lose a big part of ourselves and this can be painful. You are just resisting this process and it makes it harder because there is nothing that you want to do and can make money from.

People don’t understand this though. Everyone just thinks I just need to find a job and then everything will be better. Maybe they are right. I feel deeply upset and alone about all of this. No one else understands. Everyone else seems to have happily assimilated into society. They all seem to do it just fine. Why can’t I? I feel so guilty about this that it causes me to think myself into destruction. I feel trapped in this. I know I have the potential to be a lot of things but my negative thinking never lets me get to this point. Makes me feel very frustrated and sad.

But you don’t really know what you want. How could you expect things to be going how you want them to be going when you don’t know what you want?

This frustrates me that things are not going the way I want, but I don’t know what I want.

So what are you going to do?

I don’t know. I feel like if I am going to find a job I really have to force myself. I have to give up all the things I like doing and just force myself to find a job. To only do that. But then I don’t really know if once I find a job if I will really be any happier. I will have to give up so much of myself and my time. People want me to find a job and feel like I am not progressing in life because I spend all my time in my pajamas. But I like doing this. But it makes me sad that everyone else looks at me like a complete fuck up. This makes me feel very guilty.

Yes. It is rough. It is not as bad as you think though. You can find a job, earn money and still stay true to yourself. It is hard to do. Really hard. I will not lie about that. But it can be done.

Do you do that?

I try. I do the best I can. I think I have managed to stay true to myself but a part of me does have to sell-out to earn a living.

That is what I am afraid of. That must feel terrible.

It does but it is the nature of society. Society sucks. It is the way it goes and you need to accept this at some point.

I know. I have two choices now. I can adhere to what society wants of me and find a job or go to graduate school to find a more specialized job and then maybe I will be happier. I will not have the guilt any more and I will have money to support myself. This feels like it would lift a huge load. OR I can just stay the same and just learn to be happy with what I am doing and how I am living now without feeling guilty all the time. Both of these options feel like they will require a massive effort.

Yes. Personally I think you should just keep buying time. Learn to enjoy what you are doing now. Don’t feel so guilty about it. Just enjoy yourself while your parents are still willing to help you out. Make good use of this time rather than wasting it feeling so despondent and depressed. Write a novel. Find some kind of job. Go easy. Enjoy being young rather than filling it with so much despair!

Yeah. But soon I will be thirty and I don’t want to be thirty still spending my entire day in my pajamas.

(To Be Continued)