Why Then Matters

Several months ago I was at a party in Williamsburg. My tales of hitchhiking, bareback sex, and cocaine nightclubs mesmerized a clutch of true believers and a young girl holding a PBR asked, “When did then end?”


“Then.” The question was shared her friends’ inquisitive eyes. “There is nothing like then now.”

“Nothing like it? You’re young. You must have fun.”

“Not like you did.” Her words dripped of worship.

Not for me, but for time glazed by myth.

“Then ended in 1994 with the internet. It could come back, but you would have to give up your cellphones, cash cards, big screen TVs, and start living in collectives instead of paying $2400 a month to live alone.” I was asking for a sacrifice which I wasn’t willing to make.

They looked at each other and murmured, “Then.”

I joined them, because at their age I had a ‘then’ too.

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