Last night I was going through a bout of insomnia, so I wrapped myself in a stack of blankets and I watched me something. I chose a Japanese animated series, one I liked a lot when I was a kid. A spin off of the original, 12 20-minutes episodes that came out in the mid-’90s and that I had missed at the time.
I watched and enjoyed it a lot more than I expected. I liked the storytelling, the characters and their dynamics, and OK, there was a certain amount of fluff and adolescent angst but what the heck, it was a Japanese anime, it’s supposed to have those.
And while I was between episodes, a strange sensation hit me…
It was, I think, a personal perception of time.
This thing I was watching, and enjoying, came out twenty years ago, when I was thirty, and it was clearly aimed at fifteen years old. I am fifty – I am closer now to the fated number 60 and old age than I am at my thirties, forget about my teenage years. And yet…
On one hand, I really don’t feel old.
Tired? Granted – make that exhausted. But it’s not the years, it’s the mileage (thank you Dr Jones), really.
I can still enjoy a kid’s show, and relate to the characters, and while I am in I sort of forget the years.
I guess it says something about the power of storytelling, but also about my mind – and while I think it a good thing, I cannot but see around me people a lot younger than me that are really a lot older, mentally. And I wonder who’s getting the best life.
Not that there’s much I can do about it – remember what we learned from the Stoics and all that. But it’s weird – it brings up questions, about life choices, and circumstances, and all that. Trains missed and trains caught.
And more importantly, it made me feel almost physically the passage of time in a way that I had never experienced. It was only a moment, while I went and made myself another cup of tea, but it was striking.
This is getting rambling, just like when someone tells us of a dream he had, and he thinks it’s so significant, and it’s just incomprehensible nonsense to us.
But this whole thing left me with that weird feeling, that I would like to put in a story, and with a single phrase that’s been running in my head, and that I know it’s the seed of a story. The inciting incident, or a part of it.
And I know it will be a story I will write, even if I don’t know when, or how. The phrase is:
“Have you ever considered the possibility that we are not, in fact, the good guys?”