Rob and I waited for Brian for like two hours. He said he had to something to do with both milk and a toilet, and I guess it took him a little more time than he thought to figure it out. Since I hadn’t seen him in almost two years, and almost forgot that with a spirit as free as Brian’s, time is but dust in the wind… dude.
Luckily, I got to wait for him inside the relaxation suite we lovingly call “Rob’s House.” That guy knows comfort, cookies, and smoking, as he often using meat to express his deepest feelings. We all the first time our freshman year of college at the University of Texas. Rob and Bryan were assigned to be roommates in a program I absentmindedly invaded back in the day. I didn’t even live in the building. I honestly don’t think either of them could have gotten a better roommate. I was excited to finally see both these guys together after a long time away, and I knew exactly what we were going to do once Brian made his way over to Rob’s House.
Nothing… We did nothing.
The Tao of Nothing
We were just three guys sitting in a house talking about nothing important. And it was glorious.
Doing nothing is a time honored tradition started by Generation X to allow youths to separate themselves from the monumental pressure their Boomer parents were putting on them. See, Boomer parents can and did point at World War II as a reason for why their kids needed to step it up and make something of themselves. They even started calling themselves the “Greatest Generation” because you suck, that’s why.
120% of them came back with PTSD, which wasn’t invented until after the Boomers all got it in Vietnam. This is why all the Gen X kids in the 80s hung out at the mall to avoid their parents - at least you could be alone with friend, air conditioning, and constant Tiffany soundtrack. Gen X got so good at nothing, they didn’t even bother changing their name from Gen X, a name they got to be a place holder that just never changed.
By the time we, the Elder Millennials, were of age, we had started to perfect doing nothing. We were watching Gen X director darling Kevin Smith make movies about kids hanging out in malls to escape their parents or their lack of parents. Only we could rent it from a video store and watch it in a secluded room with our friends. Doing nothing at the mall wasn’t good enough anymore, so we accelerated the doing of nothing. We made 5 hour drunken brunch a regular thing. We invented social media, the 4 Hour Work Week, and hustle culture. Because nothing says NOTHING quite like not working at work, outsourcing your tasks to foreign workers, while begging the universe for more. Finally, we started eating avocado toast so hard we pretty much broke society.
Did myself, Brian and Rob do important stuff like talk about politics? You bet! We didn’t waste time trying to solve anything though. No thank you! That’s for our Boomer parents to get out and vote for. We just nodded and agreed with one another before moving on to something far more pressing - Watching Beavis and Butthead clips.
Do you remember Beavis and Butthead? Those characters all about doing nothing. The whole series is just them going to a new location to do a whole lotta nothing and pissing everyone off as a result. They spoke to me then as they speak to me now. We watched them use a fake ID to buy fake beer they didn’t know was fake, and drink it in front of a cop who also didn’t know it was fake. Then we watched them destroy they’re part time job at Burger World because that job sucked as did everybody buying food there. Defiant nothing might be the best kind of nothing there is.
We middle aged millennials just shot the shit… with the kind of BB guns that could take out a kid’s eye at Christmas. We old men hung out… like Shaq accidentally breaking a backboard. We chilled… like Iceman was one of our amazing friends. We even learned a few deeper mysteries about each other like the first place you touch your body in the shower and where you cat likes to lick you. We did nothing of import because we don’t need to in order to enjoy each other’s company for several hours. That’s our generational legacy. Perfected, blissful nothing. Get it together, fam.
Our aging Millennial future isn’t about our expensive vacations, our many promotions at jobs we hate, or fighting any wars on behalf of our bosses bosses boss.
Our future is about nothing. So get you some good friends to do that with.
Here’s a video of a cat licking Rob’s head