Turning Thirty – Near Escape #1

Posted on January 10, 2013


Our resident Buddha has been having some bad days. He is slowly falling apart. Part of the reason is the neighborhood children, who refuse to be quiet on any day of the week. How is Buddha to meditate on being Buddha if he cannot stop and hear himself think? I asked the children this but they threw rocks at me and called me an old man.

I’m not an old man, I told them. I’m only turning thirty.

That is really old, they said before they threw more rocks.

I was sensitive about turning thirty. I’m going to set you on fire, I told them.

We are going to tell, they said. We are going to tell everyone that the old man at 1468 Ash Street is a bastard! And you are so old!

Please don’t, I begged. I’m really not that old.

We will. We are going to tell everyone, they said. We’re going to tell everyone how old you are and how you aren’t paying taxes and how you aren’t married and how you are drying up.

I began to feel particularly paranoid. My back had a suspicious ache in it. I also felt tired and thought how nice a nap might be. Maybe thirty was old. Maybe I was running out of time.  I couldn’t decide because the children were so damn loud.

Buddha was falling apart, losing more and more of himself.  He took a few stones to the groin and doubled over.  I wanted to rush in and save him, but I stopped myself. Maybe this is what he wanted. Nothingness. Falling apart. Wasn’t that a precept of Buddhism? I really had no idea, but I had other things to worry about. Like taxes and getting married in a hurry and making my own loud children before I dried up and couldn’t.

I also needed some ibuprofen and a good nap.

I left the children alone, retreating from the rocks being thrown and the unbearable noise, and left Buddha to his nothingness.


Posted in: Near Escape