Begin one helicopter spotlight blaring down at a crowded street of hooligans.
Here I am, another source of energy. And like everything else, I was most vibrant at the earliest stages. Post-development, and without realization, I thrust myself into the world.
I lived, ate candy, drew pictures, played with toys and explored forests. Imagination was all I really needed, and my parents took care of the rest. My energy level was high, the highest it would ever be.
(This was you too.)
As we grow older, candy tastes less sweet, and life seems less exciting. We become obsessed with sex as a hurried substitute for the pleasures we lost with childhood. And then even that obsession passes and life dims a little more. But, at least for a little while longer, it remains interesting. We soon encounter our own intellectualism, and develop interests in existential matters like personal freedom through political involvement and religious belief. But then, even all of that ceases to be interesting after a while.
The energy starts as a flurry of creativity, eventually settling dramatically down by way of term papers. We didn't realize how important life was until we got to college, and then a few years later we wondered what we got all excited about in the first place. Energy decreases steadily, maintaining a gentle glow during the "career phase".
And this is just coasting. We live and pay bills. We pick up a gallon of milk so our spouse can have cereal in the morning. We succumb to habits and simplicity, and we take our dog out for a walk.
Any belief we once had, and any magic that preceded it, is now overcome by banality. We comfortably admit that we are not special, and do not feel sad by saying so. We look upon those who still have beliefs as a sailor looks to a fashion designer. There is work to be done, but none too important.
What do you still believe in? Was it what you believed in a few years ago? In college? When you were six years old?
And what less will you have in the years to come?
The times of silence I so valued have even now become habit. I drive around in the middle of the night, thinking about nothing. Oh how I used to value my solitude, but now it is just another aspect of my existence. Nothing is sacred anymore, though I have heard parents say that children bring a fresh perspective to an adult's tired eyes. But of course, I don't believe them.
It's not a matter of happiness or depression. Old age and suicide are but two sides of the same coin. There is no glory in death of any kind. Martyrdom is absurd, and patriotism is a myth. All humans are better off living with wolves, dancing if they're lucky. Whatever the animals believe is what we should be after, not our own permutations.
The Welsh poet Thomas said to rage against the dying of the light. Well, that's one way to go. The light always goes out, and it may be just as well to watch its long fade. Until it's nothing more than a single firefly in a cornfield, making one last flicker before being caught up in a mason jar. Suffocation follows, for there are no holes poked in the lid. Our only hope is to leave a smear behind on the glass, something that will eventually be washed off, but not for a little while at least.