I am a 28 year old man. I just got off the night shift in a factory. I am one year older.
This is what getting older feels like. Cold, lonely, with the tree line just in sight.
Every year that I’ve had this blog I’ve put together some sort of lessons learned compilation. Things to take away from the year gone and past, celebrating whatever life lesson I came to understand, even if it is something I should have learned well before I could drive, buy porn and vote.
On april 11th 2011, at the age of 26 years old, I stated “Never have surgery in a foreign country, especially not on your ass in South Korea”. That is some bold, mysterious and disturbing philosophizing by my predecessor. To this day I stand by it, as it may be the truest thing I have or ever will say. My contribution to humanity. But to put your, our, my name on it, publish it on the sopping tabloid that is the internet and then wonder why I work nights in a factory is an unfortunate comment about my perception of how I am be perceived.
A man made of metal said it better than I ever could, “If I only had a brain.”
Before I get to the list, and I will of course get to the list, I got a bone to pick with a guy named Dave. He and I attended public school and high school together, although only during the former can I say we were close friends. Dave was a nice guy who was really good at Super Mario 64.
He possessed the sort of smile you would welcome into your home to sharpen your kitchen knives. I was very good at French, but less so at Mario, especially when it came time to fight Bowser. Dave was not very good at French. As you might have already surmised, our complimentary skill sets complemented well.
So there was a time when Dave and I began the intellectual exchange we call friendship. I liked Dave.
Fast forward to today, or two weeks ago to be more specific. A friend of mine, Ryan, bumps into Dave. The subject of my employment comes up in conversation. Dave was not pleased or proud with the progress I had made in this cruel world and professed such. Enthusiastically.
Dave said he thought I would be a poet. I was confused to hear that Dave’s idea of the epitomy of life’s ziggurat is… poet. And I suppose he was not far off on the want and desire to play with words. I’m just not much for rhyming and I don’t feel the need to wear a beret or grow a goatee, too old for those games now old chum.
By the power of greyskull, did dear Dave ever cast judgement unto my life. Bewildered describes my state. Did Dave and I not bond over videogames and foreign languages?
Nik from two years ago might have been upset by the retelling of this social judgement. Now, with my current level of enlightenment, I can see there is but one difference between Dave and I. The difference being simple: Over the last decade I haven’t thought for one second what I thought Dave would be doing. Let’s just say I was too busy.
So Dave, I wrote you a poem, and I hope it lives up to all of your wildest poetic dreams for me.
Dave is a prick.
I was never very good at writing poetry.
Onto the list of lessons. This year they are simple, few and hopefully truths that will sculpt your life. In no particular order…
Shit I Learned When I Was 27:
1. Getting evicted is ok, so long as you are not the crackhead responsible for the eviction.
2. Throwing a coffee table does not settle an argument.
3. Do not by a car that, under any circumstances and regardless of impossibly low price, has an aftermarket speaker set installed using a mix of wood and drywall screws.
4. When you yell from a balcony, “The (insert season) of (insert name)!!!” ie, “The summer of Nik!!!”, you are dooming yourself.
5. Raccoons don’t like jalapeno peppers.
6. Avoid living in rooms you can’t stand up straight in.
7. Avoid owning nice stuff. It won’t stay nice when you get evicted.
8. Don’t take shit from Dave.
9. It’s now considered ‘therapeutic’ not pathetic to vent frustrations, both viciously and anonymously, against any human or corporate entity from the safety of the internet.
10. Don’t go back and read anything you’ve written that is older than a year… and that you maybe set free onto the internet.
11. The Netipot is the vilest of humanity’s creations.
That’s it, talk next year.