Damien is a man of twenty-four or so and is in need of reassurance.
When I was a kid, I used to wake up screaming from these horrible nightmares. I used to think that there were kidnappers and murderers coming to get me in my sleep. Weirdly enough, it gave me this bizarre comfort to know that at least I'd be on TV then and people would cry about how young I was and what a horrible shame and what a waste and yada yada yada.
These days it isn't the waking up that's rough, it's the trying to get to sleep. I just lie awake and think about how I used to believe I'd be a millionaire by thirty, and that was if the economy was really bad. How I'd be married by twenty-five and have a family after that. That's how it's supposed to work. A degree is supposed to be useful, or maybe I'm just lazy or maybe I'm just doing it wrong or maybe I should've studied to be an engineer like my mom said. Anyway, these are the things that keep me awake at night. That weird voice that tells me I didn't get anything done that day, even though I worked a ten-hour shift at the store and read three chapters of War and Peace. That should mean something. I feel like it doesn't.
Maybe it's just that I'm not young enough anymore to be looking forward. Things are supposed to be happening now. Not "mopping up Aisle Three" happening, real happening. Grad school and teaching and tenure and…and I come home instead and turn on the TV and fall asleep and I never go out and meet anyone and maybe this is my life forever.
That was a little dark, wasn't it? I tell you, I get this way sometimes. But then I look at these, like, Hollywood superstars. And did you know, Judd Nelson was twenty-six when he played Bender in The Breakfast Club? I mean, he was playing a kid and he was older than I am now.
That thought kind of calms me down. I mean, I'm not a movie star yet or anything, but I still could be. I'm young-ish, anyway. I've still got time.