The Oldest Man in Gainesville
So yeah, I’m back. Y’all knew a raging attention whore like me could only stay away for so long. But we all know if there is one thing that is true in life it’s that the sequel is never as good as the original. Shit, if everybody who ever did anything that was really good quit while they were ahead, we’d only have about six movies a year coming out and the Rolling Stones would have stopped making albums 30 years ago. What I’m saying here is that a lot has changed since I last spoke with you all. A lot.
I’m older. I’m angrier. I’m more bitter and a lot more nasty. You know why? Because I’m fucking old, that’s why. Because I’m old enough to remember Ronald Reagan and the Cold War. I remember what life was like before computers and cell phones and the Internet. And somehow, we survived.
You know that miserable old bastard who sits down at the barber shop or the local bar or maybe, if you’re really lucky, mainlines Old Crow on the street corner in front of your apartment? Well, after a year in Gainesville I understand that guy a lot better that I used to. The kids here? They don’t know what it was like to only have 87 channels.
My role as a person over the age of 22 is to ramble on about the good old days when we read newspapers and bought CDs.
About a time when “text” was something you read, not something you did.
A time when people actually picked up their phones
A time when guys were considered pussies if they asked a girl out over anything other than the phone or in person. Or a time when guys even asked girls out.
A time when when not anybody with a camera could become a celebrity, and a time when people had to have talent to be on TV
A time when people did actual exercise instead of waiting in line for hours to play virtual tennis.
A time when kids played outside and parents had to drag them in, instead of playing inside and their parents having to twist their arms to go out.
A time when if you wanted to avoid work, you just left.
A time when if you went to dinner with someone, that was the only person you were at dinner with. Not every friend, relative, acquaintance, boss and bill collector who decides to call, text, or email while you’re eating.
A time when you could ignore people you wanted to ignore.
A time when you went on vacation and were truly inaccessible
A time when “second life” was only something the Hindu’s talked about.
You see, now I know why the grumpy old man is so angry. What I was talking about back there? That shit is from like 1997, people. The Clinton years. Not that long ago, and many of you out there reading can remember most of that shit as well.
But in Gainesville, if you didn’t grow up with email and cell phones, you may as well be an Alzheimer’s patient who eats his own teeth. I know that in America youth is King, but in Gainesville, youth is more of a fascist dictator. If you’re old enough to rent a car, you’re a detriment to society. So while you may mock that miserable old bastard on the corner for ranting on about how much better it was when they danced the Charleston and women wore long skirts, don’t laugh at him too hard. Move to a college town folks, and you’ll realize you have a lot more in common with him than you ever wanted to.