I’m fascinated by him right now. Watching him navigate a world he’s going to get to live in for the next sixty, seventy years. I mean, things could get in the way of that, but they’re unknown things. The whole “dead by thirty” thing is no longer absolutely true. It’s weird, you know, to think that Mrs. Wigglebottom will, of course, be dead by 2018. She doesn’t have five more years in her. And that weighs on me so much, wanting to be sure to do right by her in her last years.
But I don’t think I ever really accepted that the Red-Headed Kid wasn’t going to make it that long. At least, when he first told us he didn’t have that long, thirty seemed so far off for him. We’ve known him for a long time. It seemed like almost half his life away. But it’s a quick half–that sprint between 15 and 30.
Anyway, so here it is for him–a life that goes beyond that.
And it’s so intriguing to see how that’s changing his life. In some ways, not much. As long as I’ve known him, he’s either worked in a grocery store or at Hollywood Video and he works at a grocery store. He’s always been a heavy metal nerd and he’s still a heavy metal nerd.
But he hugged my mom at Christmas and came over to play Apples to Apples with our family. He’s just subtly becoming more gregarious. And he’s always been really funny, but he used to be funny in this way where you almost hated to laugh, because he might think you were laughing AT him, even though he was obviously being intentionally funny. And now, now his stories are all funny with him.
I guess it’s the same as the question this morning. “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” The Red-Headed Kid seems to plan on spending it savoring it.
It’s kind of wild to me, too, how little anger he has. I mean, dude had repeated surgeries–had fucking heart surgery–and had to have a pace maker. And it’s just epilepsy. His heart is fine.
And he treats it like everything else, just something weird. A mistake. Yes, one he bore the brunt of, but a mistake.
Something that happens. And so let’s see what happens next.