Going off the rails of life
The general outline of the life a person is supposed to live, at least as I absorbed it from wherever, goes like this:
You start out being a kid where you play and have unconstrained imagination. Then you become a teenager where you rebel against whatever is on hand for you to rebel against. Possibly not for any especially good reason, but it’s supposed to be a healthy process of figuring out who you are. Then you move into your college years and through to your mid to late twenties, where you date and experience things and experience people and figure out what kind of person you want to be with.
As you come to end of that phase, there’s supposed to be this nice dovetail that happens where on the one hand you get tired of the dating scene, and at the same time you meet someone you feel is your soul mate. As you exit your twenties, you get married, and enjoy a honeymoon period of just being together and reveling in the shared commitment. Not too much later though, you have kids. How many kids is entirely up to you, some people want one, some want many. Some want none, but that starts to stray from the narrative that I was fed.
With all that in place, you work through to some time when you decide it’s the right age to retire and take it easy. Along the way, you watch your own children go through the stages you went through, and you feel pride or joy or whatever.
Then you die.
Satisfied, I guess.
I shot off the rails of that track long ago, and I’m old enough now that I feel it might not be an option for me to get back on, even if I wanted to. Would I want to? I don’t know.
There were a couple of women that I seriously discussed marriage with, but it was never really going to happen. As much as the people I considered settling down with were fine, on my side of the equation, where I was supposed to be tired enough of dating to want to stop, that part didn’t happen.
Dating, in the stereotypical sense of trying to meet people and going out in the hopes of something coming of it, all that totally sucks. So it wasn’t ever the case that I was having so much fun with the game of dating that I just couldn’t let it go. I just never felt…