I went to lunch today with two of my former students. Both are bright, funny, witty, self-possessed, well-read, pleasant, and responsible. These gorgeous creatures are making their way through the world, not sure what their mark will be but bright eyed and energetic and epic enough for possibilities to be limitless. And they really are limitless for them. It's breathtaking to see.
I used to think I could keep up with the treacherous little darlings, you know? It was the final vanity before an ever-expanding waistline and the "Naw, you go out, there's a really cool Nova special on PBS tonight." was accepted as reality. Now, of course, while I have always, ALWAYS been old to them, I'm old to myself as well.
"WHAT ABOUT BARTERTOWN?" I demanded of them.
First of all, they've never seen Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and have no idea what I am talking about; secondly, halfway through the conversation it occurs to me--they have nothing to worry about. Adaptable, resilient, resourceful, Bartertown can come as it pleases, they'll survive and do beautifully. I, on the other hand, have absolutely no skills for Bartertown. I'm too right-brained for any applicable scientific knowledge like how to create energy from methane, have never been big on camping/survival skills (roughing it is one-ply toilet paper), and neither young nor limber enough to make it as a prostitute. Somehow I don't think Bartertown is going to be interested in a dilettante chef or knitter with 15,000 paperbacks who can recite the entire lyrics catalogue to the Beatles' Help album by rote.
If I don't cack it, since I have never actually been young in their eyes perhaps I can prevail on one of them to take pity on Auntie Del and she'll bring me food. It'll make for a good minute-and-a-half scene in the movie.