I live in two countries, which entail at least two dominant forms of conceiving organized society. These two countries entail a multiplicity of societies, cultures and identities on them, that do not remain contained but communicate with each other and with other worlds. I have discovered that I do not live in two worlds, but in a multiplicity of liminal spaces from where I can observe how fragile and futile it seems the dominant construction and policing of borders and difference.
The topic of last party at a dear friend´s house was the horrific: "getting old".
I thought that it would not happen to me, that stuff was happening to everybody else,
but me: the wrinkles, the tiredness, the lack of interest in what I have always been
interested in, the stiffnes, the long reassuring speeches to young people. Boy,
I was wrong. In this party, I WAS THE ONLY ONE GETTING OLD. Everybody there
was fashionable and pretty, and me, no matter how many songs of Hip-hop bands
I have accumulated in my iTunes library, I was as unfashionable as ever. Still not
getting the last band´s hit!
I found that I was old, when I was reassuring random young people that everything
is going to work out all right: school, jobs, love, life projects, everything ends up
working out fine. That no matter what their fears, it is always for good, or that you
end up accepting reality and moving on (or committing suicide in the worst case,
and in the least worst case, you end up liking Monty Phyton and disliking authority).
I did not say that last night to anybody, understanding that
the restlesness of youth, may find that as an opportunity to blame me for not giving
them more direction. And frankly, who likes Monty Phyton anymore but old folks?
Reassuring younger people!!! What a sight. I used to be the one needing reassurance,
and there were always older people to do that at parties. Should I pursue this career?
should I worry about the stock market? Should I follow fashion? Should I vote in favor
of animal rights? Should I be concerned by hegemony? There was always the random old-fart
telling me, that no matter what,
everything is going to be allright. I was then convinced of the validity of my questions,
and the reliability of the answers. But now, still with not proven validity
or reliability, I was there, with all my teeth, telling younger people that life works out.
Later, I discovered that being in the old-fart side of the room only takes a couple of years.
A generation is about how long college life lasts, or for those that do not attend college,
about how long high school lasts, or how long hanging out with friends and doing things
irresponsibly lasts. You can stretch that for more, but it does not last, because the new
"generations" keep following the ones that are slightly older, to ask for reassurance. And your
peers start getting obsessed with having children and buying houses! In no time,
you end up reassuring your peers children about how good life works out. So, young people, be prepared,
it does not take long to be part of the old-fart crowd. I will be there to welcome you!