The Decade

From the Dashberry Sun’s Editorial Board on the Celebration of the Decade:

We the Editors wish to lift all boats with the following message on our chosen theme: Midlife.

“A man starts life believing all possibilities are open to him.  He takes it slowly and confidently until, one day, he notices doors closing on him, one by one, like elevator hatches. 

One night, in a waking dream, he sees that life is like a passing window from a moving train.  If he doesn’t jump through it, he will ride out his ticket in material comfort around the very next bend, where, as he’d known all along, the bridge had never been finished.  All the supposed possibilities of his childhood, and the shear vision of that aspiring boy set next to the disappearing man, will crush his shamed heart like a tomato under elephant tread.  Against the pitiful weight of all his learned experience, life will bleed out of him as the curtain, finally, closes. 

This is what awaits him.  Unless. 

Unless, he gives due respect to an Olympian-sized panic rising within him—the voice of God.  At first, he’ll explain away the feeling with logic—that boiled meat of society.  He’ll invent his reasons why he feels like dirt.  Old tricks, all.  Every man has within himself an iron vault of personal guilt, whether from the school yard or the board room or the insane torments of pre-conscious adolescence.  This is how he will explain his despair.  ‘I do not deserve my dream,’ he will think. Thus, has he entered the season of his treadmill, where nature stores her fruitless batches in static mobility—a purgatory of existence she waits for a reasonable and timely excuse to end her little experiments.

But if, by some miracle, he can grab hold of himself, tossed high and low on the roiling sea of his waning years, passing evermore quickly as the time left to him becomes a smaller and smaller percentage of the total figure, he can drive his panic towards some purposeful end.  With luck, he might even blast his way through the remaining rock of his being until, beat, tenderized, busted and worn, he arrives at his final station, too tired to care what happens next and passing on full, if only of exhaustion, and with the satisfaction of having, at least, jumped.

These are a man’s two options at midlife.”

Happy New Year,

The Editors