In comparison to the current endeavour of international leaders to duck-shove global bankruptcy and to defeat the spread of the Coronavirus, the heady ambitions of youth to grow hair, workout and fix their acne appear demonstrably irresponsible. What however disturbs me even more is that both eventualities – disease and youth – have a decidedly human characteristic, a certain inevitability. Both are reflective of different times and events but both are nonetheless inalterable and perhaps even predictable features of humanity. In that respect to question the enthralment of either is tantamount to debating the strength or motive of appetite. If age has afforded me anything it is recognition of the paramountcy of the gut.
You might be surprised to learn that the confession of desire – especially in conjunction with youth generally – has not spurred any lascivious interest. Rather it has reminded me of the somewhat unflattering similarity of ourselves to our animal cousins, a conclusion which brings me to the implacable nature of life and the undeniable necessity to travel the arteries of being from instinct to thought. But the significance of the voyage from beginning to end is the debate which arises concerning one’s legacy, a consideration not only of something demonstrable but also of something rewarding.
Whether the threat of disease or acne is a greater social impediment is quite distinct from the urgency compelled by the admission of time’s elapse. There is only so much time remaining to accomplish whatever we consider useful. I hate to say it but at this late stage of my life – one which has been spotted by various medical insurgencies – I am more concerned about my legacy than the length of my life. I see the former as a potentially more damaging infection.
I do at least have the satisfaction of knowing there is virtually nothing I can now do to expiate my otherwise dismal contribution to humanity. This in itself is a settling detail. Perhaps I shall adopt a posture of learned comprehension – sagacity! Naturally I joke. The damage has been done in more ways than one! The over-riding characteristic of life is its “naturalness” not its design. Matters technological may constitute an acceptable qualification – I love computers and my iPhone – but within the realm of corpuscles not codes the winner is instinct.