Confessions of a Sixty Year-old Man

Much to the chagrin of potentially hilarious storytelling, I didn’t spend my New Year’s Eve boozin’ through the ball drop. I didn’t spend it doing the “mashed potato” or the “alligator” (though if such an opportunity had presented itself to me, I surely could not turn it down). I did not party, even though I can assure you my “momma wasn’t home.”

Rather, my lids dropped along with the ball, like a time-addled watchman living long enough to ensure that this young Planet Earth would make it through just one more year. Smiling, my body fizzled into stardust, and the blanket keeping it warm slowly sagged with nothing more to keep it alive and inflated. My dog began to chew on the remains, thinking them spoils.

I did get to see my very favourite episode of Twilight Zone before passing, though.

“Time Enough At Last,” as I’m sure the majority of you are aware, stars a thickly bespectacled Burgess Meredith as a veritable Omega Man, not unlike Mister William Smith in the film I Am Legend (You will find such popular relevancies a common occurrence on this weblog). There are no monsters plaguing his loneliness, though, just more loneliness. What he finds in this rocked and rumbled world is, aside from a lack of company, endless supplies of food, comfortable couches to sleep on, and the promise of a full life that nobody would want to live.

Then he finds a gun. Thinking, like many of us would, that ending it all would be best, he puts it to his temple. His would-be final sight is that of a crumbled public library, a vision so shocking as to erase all thoughts of suicide. He runs to it! Books, books and more books: collected works of his most beloved authors, bound tomes of sublime poetry; enough material to, much like his food supplies, last a lifetime.

So he organizes them into monthly and yearly towers of knowledge, preparing to terrorize their faculties like a mental Godzilla. The best part? Just as the title proclaims, he has “time enough at last” to devour it all. Just as he begins to dive in with a grin that would take a lifetime to sour, his glasses fall to the concrete below! The lenses shatter on impact, leaving worthless decorative frames in their absence. “No, no. It-it isn’t fair” he says. “It’s just not fair!”

Most of the episode, for those of you that have never seen it, is comprised of Meredith walking a bomb-torn MGM set, reeling out his internal monologue aloud, just as I’d like to imagine anyone in this situation would. Even as I wake up in my room, no longer a watchful, elderly caretaker for this planet, I am reminded of why these are probably the stories that influence me the most. You can even see their ghoulish control over something as brief as a Slamm Dunk cover.

That’s all folks, Happy New Year. No related YouTube links or scintillating images here, because it’s 2008 and you’ve time at last to indulge fully in The Joseph Luster Report!

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