Ancient Twenty-Four

As I stand at the cusp of my twenty-fourth year of life, I am very much baffled by the concerns that have permeated my conscious. Bills, the Presidential election, finding a job before college graduation (see next point), the unemployment rate (see previous point), and ludicrous gas prices all have their ways  of perturbing my zen. In light of all these issues, I still found it surprising when I first voiced my dissastisfaction for the placement of a row of impractically tall bushes right beside an intersection near the interstate.

If you just thought, “Wow, this guy sounds old,” join the freakin’ club. Scarier even then my griping about it like a sixty-year-old man was my negligence toward the fact that I sound old every time I silently chastise the city for its refusal to have these abominations cut down.

I mean, seriously, a row of bushes?! You’d think my youthful mind would be preoccupied about where my co-workers are hanging out after work this weekend or when my favorite bands are coming anywhere near here so I can see them live. (Okay, I think about that last one quite a bit.) But no, I’m complaining about the bushes that obstruct my view of oncoming traffic. (For reference of these obnoxious beasties, I have included a photograph—in color, too!)

I mean…you can’t even see ANYTHING behind that behemoth!

This leads me to one horrifying yet undeniable fact: I’m a geezer at heart. If I can take solace in one single embrace, it’s that I’m not the only one. My brother-in-law and best friend since Middle School (that’s right, he was my friend before he ever dated my sister), John Rollan, has been married since the ripe age of eighteen and at (barely) twenty-four has two daughters. More importantly, though, he shares my concern for impractical landscaping and ugly scenery.

Toward the tail end of the summer he and I were on a typical drive hunting scoping out restaurants for dinner when we passed by an apartment complex. Now, being the aged men we are in mind and spirit, we just had to remark on the features of the complex from its convenient location to the hypothetical flood of traffic it’d be a pain to get through every morning on the way to work. And in front of the complex (which is situated atop a hill that slopes down toward the road), a whole crap ton of construction yields an aesthetically displeasing sight, which of course ruins the appeal of the complex as a livable community.

“They really need to fix that ugly hill,” John says as we pass by, leaving our fantasies of high-end apartment-living behind. And in that moment, it hit me again: We are old. I couldn’t help but laugh as I informed him of how ridiculous he sounded…and then I mentioned the row of bushes I have grown to so abhor and comforted him with the knowledge that I sound just as geriatric.

But enough about that. My Wall Street Journal subscription ends next month and I need to catch up on the newspaper headlines.


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