This piece was lovingly crafted for Ruminations of an Old Soul, released July 12, 2016.
“Nobody dresses up any more.” he muttered to nobody in particular. It should be known that he was quite the cynic. It was a quiet evening in a small town, and he was enjoying walking down lonely roads, clad in a tattered tee shirt and jeans faded by time. His mind roamed free while the sun slowly sank away in the distance.
He had always considered himself misunderstood. An anomaly. He had been younger than most of his classmates yet he was more mature than them. Social skills lacking, his circle of friends was small yet consistent. A series of long standing friendships. His life stood at odds with many of his peers.
Turning back on to his street, he inhaled a lungful of crisp air. His mind tuned back in to the trivial world of chores and to-do lists that never allow a soul to rest. A car zipped past him down the road with the radio blasting hip hop. The earth shook underneath him. He let out a sigh as his mind wandered off to a time where adults acted as adults in public rather than oversized teenagers holding on to past glories. His walking sped up to a near-jog to retreat into his world of peace and quiet. On evenings like these he felt more like society’s tolerated guest than an equal member.
He switched on the news and cracked open a can of beer. Shootings, economic failings, nothing surprising or new these days. He slowly sipped on the beer as the bad news kept coming. Followed by a barrage of commercials. Loud, childish commercials aimed at adults who couldn’t move beyond childhood. Each commercial had a social media tie in at the end. “Who the fuck tweets about garbage bags?” he asked nobody in particular. It was a depressing question for this old soul to ask. He had once enjoyed social media when it was fresh and fun. But that was high school and college. He had moved on from it for the most part in the intervening years. He kept a Facebook account as a tool to keep in touch with friends and family. But he didn’t understand the appeal of the rest, especially Twitter. He felt as if he was falling further and further away from his less enlightened peers, and he liked it that way.
The worst part of social media in his eyes was the detached nature of it all. Clicking like or share or whatever the button of the month was as a substitute for real human interaction. He saw it as devoid of substance, the polar opposite of a handshake or eye contact. He felt disconnected from society, as if his worldview was formed by looking through the filter of a dirty glass window. Certainly disconnected from those of his age group. It all looked like a child’s game. He longed to have conversations with others who understood life at the same level that he did. But due to the age gap between himself and those who he could relate to, he wasn’t taken seriously. Society had seemingly devolved into a series of dopamine chasing games, not the marathon run towards success that he had always relished. Learning to cope with the current set of standards that society had deemed acceptable was full time employment.
He may have been a cynical old soul, but he knew what adult life was all about: squeezing every bit of joy possible while letting triviality fall by the wayside.