“Et lacrimatus est Iesus.” – Saint John, The Gospel of Saint John
“Who’s the more foolish? The fool, or the fool who follows him?” – Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars
The question, “Would I drink from the Fountain of Youth” is very easy for me to answer. It is an unequivocal yes. There is no doubt in my mind that I could live a richer, fuller, happier life if I were in my 20s again.
What does drinking from the Fountain entail? My assumption is that I find myself in a South American jungle, peering into a dark, bat-shrouded cave, with moss and glistening wet rocks adorning its entrance way. I look down and see a strange rodent scooting along among dead leaves. I step over the tiny animal and proceed inside, down a corridor carved by man from an antediluvian era, and find myself at the edge of a stone ring, where a pool of water that’s clearer than clear gushes from a statue in the center. The statue is not of this world. Its geometry is wrong. But unlike Lovecraft’s indescribable angles that cause his characters to go mad, I see this statue as something beautiful and breathtaking, like a glass darkly that’s suddenly turned to light. The air in here is fresh and cool, and has a desert-like clarity, ironic for a damp cave mired in the tropics.
The whole damn thing is ironic, isn’t it?
But I still drink – with the cup of my hand.
I have to make an assumption about the Fountain of Youth here. I must be able to carry today’s wisdom into my youth again. How young will I be? I assume I can have my body restored to its perfect condition, much like the promises made in the Bible about those who are resurrected into the new city of Jerusalem.
That’d make me right about 21-years-old. The reason for my lack of doubt, the reason that I say YES to the Fountain of Youth is because my cup over-floweth with so many, many deep regrets. And while I’ve made corrections, I need time to implement them. I feel weird adding this part, but I think I should add that I’ve never committed a crime, or set out to hurt anyone on purpose, but my own lack of self-worth has caused me decades of misery.
And so you might be asking why I think it’d be any different. That’s a fair question. After all, the Fountain of Youth either restores your body to an ideal self or allows you immortality. It is not, however, a 1982 Delorean with 1.61 GW under the hood. I do not get a chance to start over again from the year 1986 (when I was 21); I must live as a 20-something in today’s half-real, half-cyber world.
Think I’d make a good millennial? Yeah, me either.
If you’ve read my blog over the past few months – or if you were one of my earliest followers when I was simply giving out free writing advice, for what it’s worth – you know I’ve sought to follow my heart. That’s why I’ve been so excited about discovering TV shows like Doctor Who, or why I was spellbound last night at The Hobbit, or why I lie back in my recliner and watch re-reruns of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and A Charlie Brown Christmas. I’m a dreamer. It doesn’t mean I can’t change a flat tire. I can. And I’m actually a really good plumber (career alternative?). But the dreaming keeps me grounded. The science fiction and fantasy and horror and hay fever …
… are keeping it real .
I want – I need – more time and more energy. I need to be a better father and husband and friend and writer. I need vigor to propel me forward. And, quite frankly, I need a miracle, a miracle called time. It’s selfish. Maybe it’s greedy, too. But Daffy Duck has those qualities, so how can I go wrong with that kind of role model?
Peace be with you,
Text Copyright © 2012 Alan Keith Parker. All Rights Reserved.