Dear Future Son Or Daughter, I’ll Do My Best Not To Brainwash You
Dear future son or daughter,
I will do my best not to brainwash you. My very best.
I will never tell you being a kid is the best time of your life. That is such a shitty thing for an adult to say. I will say that being a kid will be pretty good, but there will be better times. Middle School will not be a good time. Middle School will be shit.
My favorite dinosaur is the ankylosaurus. I’m not saying that has to be your favorite… but I mean, it is obviously the best right?
Basketball is a beautiful expression of human will and basically a metaphor for all that is good and worthwhile in this often disappointing and bleak existence. But if you prefer something more wholesome like baseball or illegal boxing matches, or maybe something more barbaric like hockey or bingo, I will understand. Also, you can hate sports if you want.
Due to the snake eating it’s own tail nature of our continuous kitsch-retro obsessed world, at some point you will either dress like a flapper or get really into Joy Division. I am prepared to still love you as these things happen. I will love you even if you think vampires are cool, even if you are a Republican, even if you hate falafels.
Punk’s not dead and hippos kill a lot of people. Just FYI, kid.
Don’t pull the fire alarm if there is no fire, even if you are really upset at your girlfriend or boyfriend at the time. Afterwards, don’t punch a tree in the quad. Your hand will hurt and you will look guilty. You’re welcome.
It is never awesome to be shitty to animals. This will be one of the few things that will make me momentarily disown you. It is only occasionally awesome to be shitty to humans.
The Civil War was about slavery, not states rights. Robert Kennedy is my favorite Kennedy. Learning another language will grant you great power. So will the ability to drive stick shift. Algebra is hell of infuriating witchcraft, but you need to pay attention so you don’t take a thousand years to graduate college like I did. I should probably buy you a piano also. I should prepare for you being smarter, better looking, and more talented than I am. I welcome that. You will be awesome.
I can’t wait to listen to the first Wu Tang Clan record with you. I can’t wait to show you videos of me screaming about history with my best friends playing music in the background. I can’t wait for you to meet Roast Beef and Tom, two cats that kind of hate each other but will like you. I can’t wait to justify this saccharine and maybe annoyingly sentimental list to you.
You are handsome. You are beautiful. I can’t fucking wait to meet you.
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Even as I write this now I am debating whether or not to erase it all together.
When I say I’m in love with you, I mean I love the story I can tell to my next lover, about my ex-lover, about how beautiful things were, how intense, how storybook, what a couple we were, and how you gradually, inexplicably, painfully, bit by bit, disappeared.
“I used to be afraid of failing at something that really mattered to me, but now I’m more afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.”
I was 24 and, while not gay, ever since college I had been getting more attention from gay men than from heterosexual women.