I fear ever saying this. I fear growing old.

I'm a relatively hip sort now, I suppose. I get outraged at the right things, play the video games my peers play, listen to a healthy balance of pop music and less well-known stuff. Whatever, you know? I don't think about it that much.

I know I'm not one of the beautiful people. That's okay. I don't have any great beauty I'll lose when I grow old. I don't fear becoming ugly or uncool. I fear becoming feeble-minded, feeble-bodied, impotently bitter, forgotten, lonely. I fear becoming that old man railing against the world, drunk on Sterno, muttering to himself in the park, lamenting the passing of the good old days.

With any luck I'll be someone's grandfather or great-grandfather when I grow old. With any luck I'll see children who look something like me squealing and playing in my living room; I'll see rolling eyes and impatient squirming when I tell them stories of how we used to have just 8-bit graphics with the original Nintendo and we liked it, by gum.

If I'm very lucky, I will die of old age very shortly after my wife dies. I don't want her to have to deal with me on my deathbed. I'd like to leave some sort of legacy behind, but I won't be too picky, you know?

I just don't want to be that cranky-ass old man yelling obscenities at children from his porch wearing suspenders and shorts and black socks wielding a shotgun full of rock salt. I don't want to be that guy.

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