Home > Uncategorized > Paralysis by SENSE OF IMPENDING DOOM


Life used to be a death sentence. Just ask any fifteen-year-old. They can’t imagine being thirty – they just don’t have the life experience. But now that I’m thirty-four-point-seven-five, I find I can’t really remember what it’s like to be fifteen. I’ve got notebooks, old diaries in which I sporadically penned (penned! with a ballpoint!) entries about the usual politics of adolescence, AP exams, glee club practice, dieting, awful sitcoms – those were the days of my life.

  • Take a giant step back, and it’s pretty much the same these days. Do the politics of humanity ever really change? I remember reading Douglas Coupland’s “Life After God,” in which the characters were all preoccupied with the bomb; that was how the end was going to come for them. My generation doesn’t concern itself with nukes (although they’re still very much out there), but with plagues and zombies. The images in Alan Weisman’s “The World without Us” are alternately heartbreaking and comforting. They always feel compelling and somehow right. It’s probably human nature to feel like we’re on the cusp of the end times. (Also, maybe I should stop reading books about plagues and zombies.) Like a fifteen-year-old, I have trouble imagining the future 10 or 20 years down the line. The center will not hold, or it will not hold steady. Empires do fall, yes, and history repeats itself. But how quickly? Would I have time to build a family, grow old, have grandchildren? The economic climate makes it increasingly unlikely that I could ever provide even the basic needs of food and shelter to anyone.

  • But, still. Whether the world ends with a bang or a whimper, tomorrow will be another day. So maybe I should get on with my life.

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