I park my car in the parking lot. As I do, I watch a group of high school students walk past. "Lousy kids, with their selfish fixations," runs through my mind unbidden. I press the 'lock' button on my remote and walk in as their car starts booming with bass in the parking lot. Another group obstructs me as I try to enter the store to get the things I had to run out to buy. I open the door without being uncivil -- but also without being pleasant. I feel myself sneering inside at them, their minds consuming popular culture (chewing gum for the mind, I think, as if I am without sin).

When did I get this way? I'm barely 5 years out of high school. I thought I always promised myself I wouldn't be just another grumpy adult. But it seems that I'm getting curmudgeonly without any help. I'm suspicious of them. I look at them and don't see what they are, but rather what they aren't. I know they lack enlightenment, but who am I to think I can grant it to them?

When did I get to be a dark, almost conformist, voice against fun? Shouldn't I let them find their path, their way? Am I bitter because of mistreatment in my high school years, or is it that I am succumbing to the realization that I no longer have their freedom? I think it's all of these. I am under the chains of responsibility in many ways. I can't help but think of the way me and my friends had suffered each on our own. Still suffer, sometimes. Deep down, I realize I still want to help - but I do not know how. Life is as full of random errands like this as it is of me doing things I enjoy.

To an extent, I've had my head down, focusing on getting through the moment. But I have reached something better now, both in my personal life and in my professional life. I don't have any real right to complain. But I've let the day-to-day worries wrap me inside them, blinding me - and, somehow, part of me wants to do it to other people, like I'm some sort of vampire. This realization dawns on me. I let myself become humorless through the work of others, and now I try to do it to other people.

Which still leaves me with questions. How I can do better? How can I make sure my life is full of happiness? Most importantly, where can I find a good apple fritter in this town?

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