Though John V. is a mere 21 years of age, he, like folk-rock troubadour Donovan with the Indian Sitar, has mastered the craft of life in a short time. It is here that he will offer you, the reader, an insider's guide to growing old. Through your perusal of this guide, you will once again become the Godhead you were in the womb. You will attain your universe, for it belongs to you, all of it!
This first maxim almost does not bear mention, but we will, as bears do with their bear lives, bear it regardless: It is of utmost importance that you find someone to die with, preferably someone younger, so that you will likely die first, and this person will then have to devote the rest of their life to remembering you.
There is no purpose to living without the promise that, when it ends, a sad hunched woman will walk alone on cold aimless mornings; and she will enter an empty home, lined and permeated with memories of you, an altar to your existence, and say, "Jason?" A pause will follow, after which, the old lady will utter: "Oh no," remembering, despite denial and with pronounced aches, your passing; following this, in a hushed, exalted tone, she will utter: "he died;" then, sweet tears will expel.
Later, the little old woman will sit quietly in bed, reading a great novel--that, through mourning's confusion of the senses, is now nothing but a collection of signifiers of memories of you and your life and stupid habits--next to the mold that you made in the bed, which she will later sleep inside of, alongside her nightmares and loneliness. This cannot be missed.
This next bit is an ancient but extremely important one: You must live every moment of your life as if it were your last. That is to say, you must spend them all crying a lot and regretting everything you have ever done; curling into a ball on the ground and sobbing; moaning, toward the sky, "please," "more time," "I did not get to eat all the expensive food that I thought might be good," etc., and also putting a sickbed inside of your bedroom and gathering all your family together so they can watch you wheezing, and spitting, and talking nonsense and all those other good things. Carpe diémé!
Many people forget this one, but it's a solid fact: All the daring excess of your life almost always guarantees a young death without effort. All of your wild weekends will coalesce in an Aurora Borealis of celebratory sacrifice around age 45; one in which Todd Death, the God of Party, will come down on a skeletal horse and carry you to the afterlife, accompanied by William S. Burroughs and those two fat guys from separate eras of Saturday Night Live. Your friends will wave you away as you are carried, unhindered by lingering health concerns or decaying body and mind, to the clouds, to the ultimate day-time music festival, where everyone has the same sunglasses.
This is not my jury summons!
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