Strange memories on this nervous night

From High-Water Mark by Hunter S. Thompson carried in the book Songs of the Doomed

The whole concept of decades is wrong. That is why people have trouble with it. A decade is ten years, which some people will tell you is about as long as a dime. The only people who still talk in terms of decades are Australians and possibly some New Zealanders, but the Aussies will tell you that the New Zealanders think more in terms of twenty years, like us. In politics, a “generation” is twenty years: Ten is not enough. Time flies when you do most of your real work after midnight – five months can go by and it feels like one sleepless night.

Las Vegas, 1976*


A conversation with my dad last night:

Me: Saal khatm ho gaya! (The year has ended)

Dad: Haan, fir agla saal bhi aa jayega? (Yes, and the next year shall also duly arrive. Perhaps hinting at this logic.)

Me: I know that, I just find it weird that time passes like this, en masse.

Dad: Aise hi hota hai. Ab humara jawani se budhapa aa gaya. Pata nahi chala. (That is how it works. I’ve gotten old from being young and sprightly. Didn’t quite know when!)

Me: I know! I can’t believe I am 30!

Dad: Jab baap mar jayega, to pata chal jayega. (When your dad dies, you will know!)


*The rest of the Wave Speech from High Water Mark is here. The paragraph quoted above is the concluding paragraph. The words in the link come before the paragraph here.

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