I Am A Child, Neil Young

I’ve finally learned what it is to be a child.

Being a child is crying because you want something you can’t have, even when you don’t even want it anymore. It’s lip quivers for no reason. It’s doing things you know are wrong because you want to.

Being a child is awfully like being an adult.

Being a child is total confusion. Figuring someone else knows all the answers, and that maybe one day you’ll know them too. But then you’re an adult and you still don’t know any of the answers so what have you been working for this whole time? That’s when the lip quivers start again, only you’re an adult so why can’t you pull yourself together and fake it?

Being a child, though, was also fun. And that’s what we miss when we decide we’re adults. Who was the poor bastard that pulled 18 out of a hat and told us grow up? Now you’re an adult and therefore expected to understand the world and yourself, and you’re going to stop having a good time. You’re supposed to work and hate your job because everyone else does. But we all like fun, so why so serious? Why do we mandate that once you’re an adult, once you can stress-smoke until you puke, you have to hate everything and be cynical and just generally frown at everything?

I am a child, I’ll last a while.
You can’t conceive of the pleasure in my smile.

I refuse. I refuse to pretend that I know things. I refuse to drink things that taste gross (I’m lookin at you, Americanos) because I’m an adult and supposed to tolerate — no, accept — the bitterness of life.

So hey, I am a child. I cry when I feel sad. I cry when everything is beautiful, so beautiful that I’m overwhelmed and I think is this all in my mind? Is any of this even real? I cry because maybe I’m nothing, maybe all of this is nothing, maybe there’s no reason for me to bother smiling when everyone else swallows, grits their teeth, and looks the other way.

I’m Peter Pan in a world full of Captain Hooks, but I will feed you all to that crocodile and whistle on my merry way. And you’re not going to tell me no. I’m an adult, after all.

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7 thoughts on “I Am A Child, Neil Young

  1. This is amazing perspective you utilize here. I really felt this post. I am not a child, but sometimes I think like one, sometimes I act like one, and sometimes I enjoy the act of acting. Loved this!

    • Eh, if I grow up maybe I will be like you. You’re still like that, Monica. I see it in your writing. I’m really proud of you for not getting “too busy” to stick to something you love. I need to catch up on your short story.

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