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Give me the quiet life.

The forgettable, peaceful life, unencumbered with social responsibility, free from dogma and moral restraints, selfish but surrounded only by loved ones.

Give me that imaginary life.

A life with enduring prosperity, a smorgasbord of options, the primary burden of which is infinite variety in a finite existence.

I want to learn how to waste my learning.

Give me that traditional role, those wife and kids, those grade school social shenanigans, the repeating circles, those thoughtless conversations on weather, lawncare, headlines, and vacations.

I want to pull the weeds and wave to the neighbors.

Let’s push our grocery carts down the aisle, load up on ready-made comfort, recline on our scotchguarded cushions and lose ourselves in other people’s imaginations, brought to you in part by these paying sponsors.

Give me those occasional worries that will punctuate the mundanities and make the quiet life sweeter; give me tax hikes, outpatient procedures, broken plumbing, gas prices, and flat tires; give me hair loss, high cholesterol, religious disillusionment, and college rejection letters.

Let’s pray and coat these trials with a lab-concocted varnish.

Give me your lessons learned, your great American novels and your secrets to success.

Give me that screaming motorbike or the scorching 2-door or that workplace romance.

Save the date and introduce me to the in-laws.

Let me walk you down the aisle, remove my limbs, bump my silver head against others, update our insurance plans, and learn to smile.

Let me write down everything I forgot to mention, bounce the little ones on my brittleĀ knees, feel estranged from the changing world, hang up a tree swing, pull a muscle and never fully recover.

Let me drown my sorrows in work and red wine and reformed religion.

Let me wait for the inevitable, clutching at every branch on the way down, moaning weakly against the night.

Give me the quiet life.


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