The old people rock in chairs on the porch, reminiscing about the good ol’ days while youth slumps across the street, smacking gum, playing with their phones, and moaning about being misunderstood. Old people hold all the cards, they complain. The young people need to grow up, respect their elders, act like adults, the geezers wheeze across the yard. They have forgotten themselves as teens, losing their minds when Elvis appeared on-stage and smoking cigarettes behind the five-and-dime.
I was working at the age of five, one exclaims. These kids today live at home until they’re thirty! Don’t get jobs because they think they’re too good for hard work. They want it easy. Well, tough sh**. Life is hard.
The youth scowl. Don’t you see? You made us this way. You didn’t make us work at five. You coddled us, showered our rooms with the toys you never had, told us we were special and could be anything we wanted in the whole wide world. You wanted to give us the lives you didn’t have, and now you take it back. You resent us for being young, for experiencing the world through a different lens. You gave us the looking glass. If anyone is to blame for who we are, it’s those in rocking chairs, always nagging about what we don’t do for you.
The old people grumble, stand on creaky limbs, and shuffle inside. Leaving the porch bare.
While the young snap their gum and ruminate how they’ll be more tolerant of youth when they grow up and have kids of their own.