I have a friend, I have a really great friend, I'm going to call him Shrett. I'm sure there are a ton of ways I could describe the old boy, but if you don't know him it's just a bunch of hollow adjectives and vocab words, because you can't put a lust for life into words. Shrett exists in overdrive, a frantic, kinetic rush through the day. Shrett's standards are king in his world. Shrett will be immortalized in my mind as he was a couple nights ago, shakingly, unflinchingly drunk, slumped against a couple stairs, and when I walked by he looked up at me and snarled, "Do you think you can live fast and still die old?"
Now, on the initial receipt this could be interpreted as the usual cliche James Dean bullshit kids write in each other's yearbooks the day before graduation. Honest mistake, really, it does sound like something Marlon Brando says in a motorcycle film. But give it a shot, it's got a little more gravity to it than that if you give it the chance. This is not James Dean, this is not Hollywood, this is not a movie about motorcycles. This is real life stuff. This is what David Foster Wallace calls the capital-T Truth, this is life before death. And you have to choose how to live it, I guess, because no one can tell you how to do it, and if they even tried it would be all wrong.
Life can only move so fast at a time. You can fly through it, hard as possible, but you can't do that forever. Everything has its breaking point. Limits exist. On the other hand, you can't just sit there. You can't just grind your way through the day, never taking the time to risk flying past something. I realize the levels of pseudo-intellectual pontification bullshit are going through the roof right now, but it's late and I don't really have much else to say. You've got to enjoy life, but you can't lose yourself in it. There are some mornings, when it's still early, where I sit and think if this is really the best way to be living. Couldn't I do so much better? Is it really such a necessity to get drunk as possible, to see as much a possible, to shout as loud as possible? Can we live in all that noise or do we need quiet? Sometimes I tell myself that the quiet will come later, when I've had my fun, when I've burned up my feral and breakneck years. But what if you burn those years up too fast? What if you burn them up so completely that you get caught in the blaze before you can slow down enough to put it out? Is this a risk worth taking; is this danger inherent to our condition? I don't know and I can't pretend to know. We are moving pretty fast, and it seems like there's not much to stop and look at. We might never know. I can feel myself wanting to slow down. I'm not sure if Shrett will ever want to. Sometimes you just have to go and go and go.
And go and go and go.