by Zolton in New Illustration on Saturday 24 November 2007

I awoke the other morning from the sleep of the damned, a fitful spell of tossing and turning courtesy of a mild dose of the flu and the constant rattle of the JMZ trains as they hurtle across the tracks outside my window. As I adjusted my eyes to the morning light and reacquainted myself with my blurry surrounds, I was struck by a moment of epiphany. It was a subtle realisation, and the culmination of a series of vivid dreams in which certain episodes from my past had been flashed momentarily through my reluctant mind. [A quick aside: I often find the early morning brings the most profound clarity of thought, those minutes of stillness before the brain is swamped by the relentless stimuli of twenty-first century society. Is it global warming or global warning? That is the question] But I digress, for I was struck on this particular morning with this simple but strangely reassuring thought that as you get older, and your choices become more and more narrow, life gets increasingly easier. Not necessarily from a technological point of view. Heck, it’s hard enough deciphering a set of instructions from Ikea these days let alone figuring out how to use your mobile phone. But rather, the path down which you trundle seems that much clearer with every passing year; with every quick rebuttal. When I was young(er), I wanted to be any number of things – to work a stack of different jobs; to live in a handful of different countries; to date the entire female cast of Degrassi High. These days my goals, like those of most of my peers, are tempered by the heavy hand of reality. Which is a good thing. And a calming thing. It means that I know what I want to do. And while the ambition still burns intensely, the road towards it is much more focused. It’s achievable. At which point of the epiphany, I promptly rolled over again, shut my eyes and ears to the grinding cacophony of the morning rush outside, and feel asleep. [illustration by Jeremy Holmes]