a man named Perig walks down a lonely highway toward the horizon, billboards aplenty

#212 "State-Of-Mind Highway 55 And Over"

"Hey, you want to come out to play?" I've been yelling figuratively since middle age walloped me over the head like an anvil on Wile E. Coyote's skull.

I'm not sure when it happened exactly, but after some vague point in my late 40's and early 50's no one (but my sweet wife) has wanted to come out to play with me. I get an inquisitive email on occasion, or a reply to my creativity, but they contain no sense of play—just surface-level nicety. I have a lifelong friend who still enjoys an occasional playful phone call, and I'm grateful for him wanting to jam a little. In my primary reality, it's like everyone must be home when the street lights come on, and those lights are always on.

Perhaps I need to cork my brain, stop hoping others will join me in my perpetual childhood, go get a colonoscopy, and start taking my old age pills. Perhaps I should just park myself in front of the TV and binge on Netflix until I die with a bolus of triple chocolate cake in my mouth. Perhaps I should get on the newest psychotropic fix-it shrinks are prescribing to people to help cope with the void creeping into their peripheral vision.

The best bet for sanity is to do what a wise man I knew did when the world was not behaving the way he wanted them to: mentally give them a license to do so. Okay. Sounds good. I now give the world a license to not want to come out and play with me. I will be the lunatic old man playing hide and seek, tag, and dodge ball all by himself in the street, making fun of the world and laughing to himself—after the street lights go on, being peeped at through a crack in the curtains.

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Crusted Salt comics by Jimmy Brunelle