My Last Generation

I wonder at this point whether I will ever have children. What so many people take for granted, is something that has eluded me to this point, along with living a life, experiencing the world, enjoying freedom and liberty, securing my future. I take part in none of these things, and didn’t really get the chance before the mistakes and missteps of my own parents came crashing down on top of me.

Ever since I was in high school, I knew what I wanted out of life. I wanted a good career, something in a field that would benefit others in some way, I wanted a family, and a nice home. I wasn’t thinking anything ostentatious, rather something modest. I had no desire to be rich, or famous, I just wanted some security, freedom, and the familial love of people whom I invited into my life.

This life could not have turned out any more disastrous. I was able to cope with some of those issues, in my early 20s, because I was still a devout Christian, and my faith comforted me, told me that God was in control, that it would work out. Of course, as I grew older, and learned more, examined aspects of my life critically, I came to the eventual conclusion that God did not exist, and that death was the end. You can imagine what kind of panic that sent me into, and that even today I still deal with the fallout from the implosion of that faith.

I wouldn’t go back to it for all the world. I will not accept a comforting lie. I will face the truth, and I will look it right in the eye, by god. I, too, will stare death in the face, and I won’t cower before it. Death has already won, whether I cry or stay silent, so I will stay silent in its face, though there is no shame in crying.

What I weep for, however, what does cause me to break down in heart and in spirit, is the fact that my chances of having a wife, having children, finding a nice little modest home, getting involved in a fulfilling career, enjoying life, are close to nil. No longer am I the optimist who says that good things will come.

People tell me that there is still time, that I can still have a good life, but how true can that be, honestly? I’m 37 years old, and while some of you will eyeroll at that number, let me explain:

I am in no relationship, am a virgin, and haven’t dated in over 15 years.  I am a diabetic, overweight, balding man who lives with his parents, and has never left home. I have no social life. I do not go places to have fun, or to relax. I do not get to relax. I do not get proper rest by any stretch of the imagination. I haven’t had an uninterrupted meal, sleep, or bathroom break in decades.

I have worked and worked and worked my hands bloody and raw, quite literally. I have no credit. I have nothing more than a high school diploma, and my last job was in 2008. When I do go back out into the working world, I will have the same skill set as most 18-20 year olds, and will be competing with them for jobs in an economy where employees are an afterthought. I have a student loan payment from where I attempted to go to college online, which fell through on their end due to a technicality, but I still owe the money. So I don’t even get to start from a clean slate.

I was an overachiever. I excelled at almost everything I did as a child. What the hell is the point of going to school, studying, working hard to get good grades, to achieve academically, to build a foundation from hard work and dedication to the pursuits of learning, if any possible reward is cut off before I can ever arrive there? I had the potential to be so many things: a doctor, a lawyer, an engineer, there were so many things I wanted to do, so many that I could do. My intellect had unlocked almost every door. For someone like me, who came from a dirt poor family who had so little? That was a hell of a feat. Yet those doors were only going to stay open for so long. They have long since shut, and I am still poor.

I may have said this before, but I regret being born. I regret fighting for life when I was born premature. Why fight for life if this is the life that I am now a part of? Why experience the agony of knowing what I have lost? The pain of knowing what I will never have, who I will never be? I am 37 years old, and half of my life is over. It’s likely well over half, really. I have had this longtime suspicion that I will never see 50.

And while I know it’s not 100% her fault, I find myself getting upset at mom, because she still thinks things will work out. She already has a daughter-in-law and grandchildren, thanks to my brother being smart enough to get the hell out because I was holding things together, so what more does she need? She tells me that she’ll love *my* children just as much, but I know it’s such bullshit. My 7 year younger brother beat me to the punch, mom got what she wanted, I could die tomorrow and it would have absolutely no effect on our family’s bloodline continuing.

<this part redacted because holy shit, it got dark>

Still, what does it matter? I will be the first and last me. There will be nothing of me to pass on to someone else, to ensure my own little bit of legacy. Why should my thoughts and dreams matter? Just because other people get to live, get to be free, why should I simply for existing? That I’m human is just a matter of circumstance, and not something that entitles me to happiness, joy, or love. Why did I ever choose to fight? If I could do it over again, I’d have stopped breathing right in that incubator, and despite the cries and pleas of my parents, I wouldn’t have started again.

I would have been happier.

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