experiment 39 : 23.

© ryan sheffield
check it.
this morning’s new york times magazine was, like, one of those year end reflections on the death’s of notable people.  one of them was ray bradbury.  they included this quote in his blurb :
“Every single moment of my life has been incredible.  I’ve loved it, I’ve savored it, it’s been beautiful – because I’ve remained a boy.”
okay, yes.  the glaringly obvious issue here is the fact that the fucking new york times gave ray fucking bradbury a tiny goddamn blurb.
HOWEVER.
i fucking love this quote.  it’s one of those quotes that inexplicably shows itself at some serendipitous moment that completely blows your mind.  which is what it did mine.  for reasons that may or may not become apparent at some later date.  perhaps.  
i inhabit a body that is on the brink of forty.  i do not look my age.  can’t pass for an undergrad, but certainly can a grad student.  an interesting place to be.  this inbetween.  
when i was in high school i used to tell my best friend, marc, that i wanted to die one of those tragic, romantic young deaths.  about more than not wanting to be old, or a grown up or whatever.  it was that, certainly.  but more, too.
i grew up overnight.  forced to.  the details of which are irrelevent now.  i realized then i had power.  the power to reclaim what was lost.  not only a childhood, but the freedom that goes along with it.  shedding a burden.  and i did.  
i’d take the kids i babysat, they were like, anywhere from five years old all the way up to twelve, maybe.  i’d take a grip of ’em – or sometimes one or two – to the movies, el taco.  babysitting was fucking awesome, man.  i always instigated activities i knew their parents wouldn’t dig.  nothin’ criminal, just jumping on the bed and shit like that.  
however, i digress.
my theory is that  i believed in my peter pan complex so deeply, it was able to manifest itself physically.  cuz let’s face it, i did some hard fucking partying.  and i know i shouldn’t look like this.
and i still feel the same way.  to a certain degree, of course.
age is a goddamn social construct, man.  and it’s not only those around us.  it’s the environment from which they came and i came and you came.  and they intermingle and influence.  sometimes to a positive outcome and sometimes only continually feeding the need to conform, acquiesce.  submit.
i hope i never will. 
i want adventure and love and passion.
i am an outlaw.
and i’ve remained a boy.
so far.

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