Herding Goats

I am always astonished to be reminded that I was not at the party alone. Some of my memory lapse is due to the contradiction of the reality of the carcass in comparison to the youth residing within.

Yesterday, I saw my friend Suzy. Suzy is in her early 50s, she’s from away, her kids are the same ages as my husband’s kids and she looks, deceptively, like she’s always been a responsible member of society. I see her as I go about my business errands and we talk. Yes we do, yammering right away about whatever is important to us to the exclusion of all else, namely work.

Over the weekend there were shootings here in the hinterland. Suzy and I are not particularly concerned by the gossip. We are interested in the broader implications for youth in society. During our conversation, we agreed that our generation may not have survived the drugs available to the generation behind us.  Suzy and her husband, who is very nearly as terrific as Suzy, are the picture of stability.

There was startling recognition as she told me about the parties and drugs throughout her own misspent youth. I continually forget that the party was crowded and I was one of many. It is surprising to hear others say they were there too.

I met an old guy with a big, red, bulbous nose when I was much younger. He was on a lot of boards, the model of respectability. I learned that he was among the first group of kids to join the Peace Corps; he’d been to Africa, he’d smoked pot! I thought, “That old goat?”

Who’s the nanny goat now?

About elroyjones

Married, no children, responsibly self-directed, living happily.
This entry was posted in Autonomy and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Herding Goats

  1. gkinnard says:

    How right you are! It’s amazing the things we managed to do when younger without—literally—killing each other. I guess we kids were of a different breed.

    In the small town where I finished growing up, two of the town drunks eventually went on to be elected mayor–what?

  2. judithatwood says:

    From away??? Are you a Mainer??? I’ve never heard that from anyone but Mainers. I have begun a memoir which will include a lot of the wild party and trouble-getting-into events of my younger life — I still cannot fathom why I’m alive!!!

  3. Okelle says:

    Great post. I can definitely relate, even if I am probably in the generation behind you! Age brings many benefits, but it does make us gape at the audacity and accomplishment of those younger than us.

    I think it’s like Snoopy and his Sopwith Camel: he flies because nobody told him he couldn’t.

    Someone I know who just turned 50 said that he doesn’t bounce anymore: when he falls down now, it’s a slow peel off the floor. So perhaps it’s best that age brings with it wisdom and caution, along with humility.

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