A young man stands beyond the boundary of his thirtieth years of age and realizes that he’s quickly running out of time to keep referring to himself as a “young man”. Being shoved off the edge of a cliff called Your Twenties, he landed and received compound fractures in both of his legs on the craggy ground of His Thirties.
On the first days of His Thirties, the young man screamed in vain as he pushed the splintered bones back into the holes they had torn in his flesh and reset the bones, passing out and awakening several times in the process until he could finish the job. He spent the next couple of months letting his legs mend, lying on his back, looking back up at the ledge of Your Twenties and at the small bit of sunshine that still peaked over at him. It was a pretty boring, very depressing, and kind of pathetic state.
When the young man could finally stand again, he began to stagger around, reacquainting himself with the ability to walk and began his trek to join the rest of his brethren drones residing in His Thirties.
On that journey, the young man was known to converse loudly and to no one in particular, things such as…
“What am I doing with my life?”
“Is everything I’ve ever done in pursuit of something I will never achieve?”
“Should I cut my losses and trade it all in for a suit and a business degree?”
“What’s the point of all this?”
“The answer is simple, young man.” A small, gravelly voice called out to him.
“Who said that?” The young man asked, swinging his head around to find the source of the voice, seeing no sign of life for yards and miles.
“I did.” The voice called from down at the young man’s feet, where all he could see was grass and a triangular chip of stone upon which the young man was about to stub his toe and curse profusely.
“Pointy rock…?” The young man asked.
“I am the He who is referred to as Him!” The pointy rock replied.
“That makes no sense.” The young man said with a furrowed brow as he bent down and grabbed the rock to inspect it.
“It does if the ‘he’ and the ‘him’ are both capitalized.”
“You mean that guy I’m not even sure I believe in?”
“The very same!”
The young man grabbed up the talking rock and inspected it for any form of Holy scribbles or new rules for him to share with his fellow man. The rock was merely a jagged, pointy triangle of stone that had probably chipped off of “The Twenties” during some other hapless man or woman’s fall. There was no scripture to be found.
“You must write about how you got here!” said the pointy rock.
“Okay, I’ll bite, but…” The young man cleared his throat and spoke in a low, self-conscious tone “Aren’t people who write about their lives either famous or a bunch of self-absorbed jerks?”
The rock stayed silent.
“Oh, eat a bag of turds, you stupid rock!” the young man said, lifting the rock in his good throwing arm and aiming for the sinking, soupy river of The Impending Forties.
“You have a story to tell, young man!” The rock blurted, stopping the young man cold in the middle of his best Nolan Ryan wind-up.
“What story?” The young man asked.
“Why, the story of a life well lived, chap!”
“Who will listen? What kind of person wants to listen to a young man pontificating under the advisement of some preachy piece of mineral?”
“Perhaps no one.” The rock said thoughtfully.
Having had enough of the rock’s hot and cold treatment, the young man lifted the rock and once more aimed for the somber seas of Impending Forties.
“…Or perhaps your experiences, your triumphs and failures will serve to help someone in their hour of need.” The rock finally continued, prompting the young man to once again pause his throw.
The young man dropped his arm to his side, gripping the rock in his fist and looked out at the distance past the cliff he had been cast off of for the first time. A gust of wind blew through his hair in a manner most epic. Had the young man been wearing a fully unbuttoned shirt, it would billow behind him in a fashion most heroic, as if caught up in this blowing breeze of destiny.
“The things you’ve seen and experienced are things only few will ever encounter, young man.” The rock said.
The young man looked down at himself in his naked splendor. His body was a road map of scar tissue, body hair, and a physique that clearly said “Work in progress”. All of these things, pieces of a larger puzzle.
But the pointy rock wasn’t finished.
“Not to mention the times you’ve royally messed up and made a complete ass of yourself.”
The young man scowled as the rock continued berating him.
“Relationships, career opportunities, every damn time you’ve cut a jalapeno and then went to the bathroom, totally forgetting the fact that you had just cut a jalapeno…”
“You going somewhere with this?” The young man asked, having about had his fill.
“All of this and you’re still kicking around undeterred. Surely, you must know as well as I do that not many people are that tenacious in their pursuits of anything they love or want.”
The young man stood for a ponderous moment as the words rolled around in his skull like a stone inside a shoe he wasn’t wearing. The young man hefted the rock in one hand and gave it a smile.
“Thanks, Pointy Rock!” the young man said before launching it towards the sinking mire of Impending Forties.
And so, listening to the rapidly fading sounds of the pointy rock as it profanely cursed his name before hitting the water, the young man, regaining his strength and assurance with each step, began his trek forward to rejoin the rest of his nervous, panicky friends he would accompany through the salmon school of His Thirties. Slowly, shedding the chains of a hokey metaphor, leaving them behind with the delusions of a deified piece of slag and the less than subtle analogies about aging being a straight drop off a cliff. The young man walked back to the air-conditioned apartment in which he regularly lived, sat down in front of a computer and proceeded to do one of the only things he ever thought he was good at…