You will be a person who feels that little lift of happiness when you remember you have leftovers in the refrigerator for dinner.

You will be a person who, when Friday comes around and you have yet to make the first weekend plan, does a little happy dance in your head.

You will be a person who stops dancing when your partner announces that he’s accepted friends’ proposal that you meet for dinner and a concert by someone who sings and plays the flute.

You will be a person who, needing more room for books, never once thinks the words “bricks” or “boards.”

You will be a person who talks to your dog.

You will be a person who also answers for your dog. Your dog will be clever, observant, occasionally snarky but always so grateful. Also, your dog will be very talkative.

You will be a person who, as you move through the produce department picking up peppers and berries and pears, tries to calculate how many millions of times you have bought groceries in your adult life. Numbers, you will decide, don’t go that high.

You will be a person who cooks many holiday meals, but who has forgotten the thrill of being adult enough to cook a holiday meal.

You will be a person who, given the choice between attending an Eagles concert (similar to the Rolling Stones, the Eagles still will be touring in 40 or 50 years) and babysitting your grandchildren, will choose the grandchildren without thinking twice.

You will be a person who will never, never tell those grandchildren what you got up to when you were a dewy young thing.

You will be a person who entertains the grandchildren by teaching them the lyrics to every song on the car radio. (“You can’t hiiiiide those lying’ eyes…”)

You will be a person who thinks about the one-bedroom college apartment you shared with three other people with retroactive horror. Half the horror will be due to the close quarters; the other half will be due to the bathroom sink that was backed up for weeks and nobody moved to get it fixed.

You will be a person who remembers very little about those three people and that crowded apartment, but you quail when you picture the filthy black bilge pooled in the sink.

You will be a person who remembers that the building’s landlord lived, conveniently, across the hall from your apartment. And still.

You will be a person who thinks about the one-bedroom college apartment you had to yourself with more retroactive horror. You had an apartment, but you didn’t own a vacuum cleaner. Also, you spray painted your refrigerator orange.

You will be a person who shudders to recall that random old guy—he was 30 if he was a day—who took you to dinner and then back to his apartment.

You will be a person who acknowledges, now that 30 seems hilariously young, how lucky you were that the dinner-and-apartment guy was fundamentally decent.

You will be a person who knows that your entire future was, during that evening, in his hands.

You will be a person who reflects that this was just one of many dumb risks you took—are taking, I mean—because young people take risks like older people take aspirin.

You will be a person who considers quiet evenings with a good book and a sleeping dog just about perfect. I understand that’s your current definition of “dead.” I foretell what I foretell.

You will be a person who reads the diaries you kept when you were dewy and young while murmuring “Yikes” over and over. Yes, I see the current you is miffed to be told that the future you thinks you were earnest but silly, plucky but idiotic. The future you snorts to think you dare to be miffed.

However, the future you is still appalled at some of the dumb things you’re doing. Try to remember that, dear, when you leave this tent.


Related

Resources