I never really had much interest in growing up, though it is admittingly useful. And if my age and my adolescence could reach a detente, I’d be satisfied. More to the point, my wife would be pleased…and suspicious, and also insist that I replace adolescence with immaturity. And I ramble. I repeat random trivia as if for the first time, which she indulges far more than I deserve. And when that moment of epiphany arrives, it arrives with exasperation and disappointment; though probably warranted.

And these are moments when what I think is important to say seems banal and pretentious; my interior life persevering as a famished shambling spectre of squandered potential and spent vitality. It may be the manifest futility of not seeming to have become what I thought I would. Though, in defense against the pilums of my own self-loathing, I submit that we can’t ever be other than who we are and are becoming. And at the risk of seeming fatalistic, from beginning to end, our lives travel along a straight path, crooked as our steps may be. Because what we did we would never not do because that is who we were, it is where we were, it is who we were with. In the same way, the decisions that we make now and in the future are not and will never be other than what they are and will be. They are set in stone precisely because what we do is the cumulative result of all that is wise and foolish that we set store by. By all whom we loved and hated and who loved and hated us in return.

And so we arrive along the crooked straight path I’m on. Do I judge whether what I think or happen to let fall out of my mouth matters? Whether it reflects a married 38-year-old father of three or the insurrectionist teen that won’t be pacified in peacetime? I don’t. I open the gate and let slip the dogs of war or puerile hounds of buffoonery. Because to quote the Dude, “it’s like, your opinion, man.”