New Jersey is filled to the brim with bad drivers. I come across one almost everyday. Exhibit A: The senile woman in the Lincoln driving ten miles under the speed limit in the left lane who begins breaking a good 45 feet before she even reaches the stop sign. Exhibit B: The idiot who thinks he’s from NYC and drives as such, who is going 65 in a 45, tailgating, but lacks the proper reflex skills required to stop quickly and efficiently before plowing into the back of the car ahead of him.
While I was on my lunch break today, I came to the conclusion that bad drivers can be used as a metaphor for age and courage. People in their twenties, such as myself, have this warped perception of immortality. We think death does not apply to us and thus we live semi recklessly (i.e. no health insurance, binge drinking, hook-ups, etc). This excessive courage we have can be seen in aggressive drivers who rarely second guess their actions and drive their car like they just stole it.
The exact opposite can be applied to senior citizens. Somewhere down the line, after back pains and a 41K and dental implants, people begin realizing the fragility of their own lives. They take less risks and start to coddle their ailing knees. This timidness for life spills onto the road and somehow, I’m the one that always get stuck behind the gigantic Oldesmobile going 15 MPH on I-95.
So where does all of our courage go? Does it slowly leek out of us, undetected, over the years? Does time wear holes in its core, like the bones of an Osteoporosis woman? When do we start taking less chances in our lives?
Is courage directly related to the amount of hope we still harbor in our hearts and the amount of things we might potentially end up losing? I remember being more fearless when I was nineteen than I am now, but I had less to lose. I was broke, unemployed, and owned virtually nothing.
Will it be harder for me to take chances when I’m thirty than it is now? Is this how people get caught up in repetition, unhappy marriages, and unfulfilling careers?