Onward to Adulthood

By Graham L. Wilson

Written in gedit 3.0.6 on Fedora 15.

Copyright (c) 2012 Graham Wilson.

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included at this link: see my profile page.

Note: a few selfish thoughts on growing up, loneliness, survival, kin and the coming century that I cooked up after watching an unhealthy amount of anime. Do not head this as anything other than my own ramblings. I do not expect anyone to understand. Thanks for coming though.

I find myself now,

On the brink of adulthood.

My childhood life,

Fades out behind me.

Memories, some searing,

Some foggy, some bright,

Some dark. Some old,

Some quite new.

I stand on the brink,

Of the next phase of my life.

My existence continues,

The training is almost over.

Eighteen years have gone by,

I should now be ready for anything.

And so I ponder to myself,

Considerations of childhood.

Did I really experience,

The phase prior described?

My body grew,

My mind matured,

I developed over time,

As a man, yes, certainly,

But as a brain most of all.

I stand now with a score of zero.

I never had a childhood friend,

I never had that confine-less bond.

Never did I meet that first love,

Never did I have that first kiss.

I never even held her hand,

Never even saw her face,

Or caught her gaze.

Still, I must remind myself,

I do have my loyalties.

Most of all I stand by my kin.

Through a decade of turmoil,

Poverty creeping around us,

We have stood together.

I am a farmer, I help life grow.

I nurture, I manage, I keep.

The bull calves are taken,

And the eggs are eaten,

But I do not feel a parasite.

We stand together: family,

Livestock, and my dear pets.

A great symbiosis of life.

The outside world I know of,

I read on this deeply each day,

My head is filled with facts.

I know Kim Jong Ill's true birthplace,

Not an enchanted mountainside,

But a cold Siberian township.

I know many things, I read so much.

Yet, does any of this count?

Do I actually have real experience?

My inner circle, exists for me

In the form of text on a screen.

They are my colleagues,

I code with them,

I write with them,

I work with them.

We do chat, we do ponder,

But the bonds are strained.

They are most of a different time,

And of a very different place.

Who is out there like me?

Besides the kin beside me?

The isolation did have a point,

I have not spent over a decade in vain.

I have read, I have coded, I have written,

I have practised, I have pondered, I have concluded.

I have stretched my powers, flexed my muscles.

I build fence, building, program and texts.

Even this odd free-verse poem stands as testament.

The plan itself is also clear.

Get my diploma, get my license,

Just get done and get out of here.

Oh so many exams, so many trials,

But I know my path, though it can be sheer,

In eighteen months things will be clear.

Then there is much more to do still,

Experiment with this fragile economy,

And throw myself on the job market,

And pray for the saviour of artistic patronage,

Pray for purchase of my work, to save me,

Away from the doldrums of salary work.

My family and I stand against the wind,

We keep on our humble lives,

Running our farm, keeping our herd,

Tinkering with our machines,

Reading our texts, no censors stand,

We keep on broadening our minds.

We all stand together, looking forward.

Yet, I so often feel so lonesome,

When I wonder if out there is something more?

A voice, a smile, a touch; a foreign pleasantry.

It is upon these thoughts that my mind does dwell,

When all other distractions have faded from me.

Those brief pauses, in between the journey,

In between the path I have set before me.

I need to consider my qualities,

Dwell not on my lack, my divides.

Let us not be conceited, but some

Have even called me a genius,

And who am I To judge? It could be so.

I can outpace many, my legs are strong.

I can lift, and I can push.

My body runs, my muscles work.

I am ready for the future.

And yet, I find myself,

Still alone, still nervous,

Still scared of the others,

The other people on the planet.

Seven billion strong, they terrify me.

I am no better than an unsure teenager,

I fear other people, I can not handle them.

The voice of females makes my heart pound,

It is equal doubt, and equal hope.

It is not that I do not know what to say,

It is that I do not know how to get them

To listen to my words, head my thoughts.

I can not find that desired audience,

I fall on deaf ears wherever I go.

The world shakes under me,

The climate is changing,

Our nations are crumbling,

The next century has little hope.

A food crisis brews, extinction looms,

The wars and strife will resume.

I have sixty years of this to face,

The statistics seem to indicate.

With these I ask myself,

If for this I am now ready.

I am a brain, I know my mind,

And I know many things.

I am a machine, I can work my body.

And I can do many things.

Still, I feel doubt,

Without someone new by my side,

My missing other half.

For now I must carry on,

And face the next phase,

Without you to take the step with me.

Leaving me to ask myself: why?

March 10, 2012