We are so careless with our words. Were they plants, they would be shriveled and brown, languishing on the earth with all the dead petals and earwigs. Were they goldfish, they would be floating, belly-up in their scum-filled tanks. Were they children, they would cry out with wet and puffy red eyes. We throw words away like moldy fruit, let them roll under the sofa with the loose change and the dust bunnies, let them rankle in the vacuum of life. We don’t mean to say empty words. It’s just the way we are.
We say things without consequence – I’ll always be there, no matter what.
Let’s be real; if your life starts to fall apart while I’m having the time of my life in Timbuktu, I’m not going to ruin my fun and games just to listen to you complain about a bad day.
We say stupid things – its an oldie, but a goodie.
To be in the category of old, one must be brittle, frail and half-dead already. Generally, things you don’t want to be. How is being old considered good?
And then we say things we don’t mean – I love you.
So, when we say things we do mean, it is no wonder they are lost, discarded like old bus ticket stubs. When we say, “fuck all of it. You have the rest of your life to be responsible. Let’s go get drunk” – we mean it. We mean that, after today, there will be other days, and more days after that, days enough to cram our little heads full of worries, and telephone numbers, social security numbers, basketball scores, bank balances and the number of times you’ve re-read Harry Potter. When we say, “you’ll never forget this day for the rest of your life” – we mean it. We mean that, when you’re old and wrinkled up like an old prune, you can sway in your rocking chair with your tea and slippers and think back on now, and wonder just what did you think you were doing, wearing those cheap shoes with that old outfit. When we say, “you’re young. You have the rest of your life ahead of you” – we mean it.
Only our sincerity makes us careless, and our sentiment makes us blind. The rest of your life is relative. The rest of your life, when you’re nineteen years old, is supposed to be a lifetime away.
And that lifetime, when you’re nineteen, is not supposed to last a week.