Generation XYZ

by Kevin Sanders

Photo by Lisa Runnels

“What is wrong with this generation?” We hear it all the time; its words uttered like a mantra, whose sole purpose is to soften the blow of witnessed stupidity.  What is wrong with this generation? Our lost, downtrodden, desperate, dismal, disillusioned generation?

I say this with all the dizzying daydreams of unique snowflakes, drunk on the fairytales condensed and cultivated to obscure the mind and placate the restless. We are a generation lost, searching for ourselves and our futures. We have no past to claim, no great evil to fight. Our great war lies within us.

The hardest part of life is dealing with mediocrity. Everything worth doing has been done. Every great fight has already been fought. Every great poem, story, or play has already been written. What is left? We are to be chained to a cubicle, working for someone else’s gain, scrimping and saving to just make due.

We must fight against the ensuing misery of a world less wondrous than described; a world where our dreams are lies, told to children before bed to assuage their fears. Where are our dragons to slay? Our astronauts and moon landings? Our great generals and leaders?

We are a disenchanted youth, suckled from the breast of hope and swaddled in grandiosity. Our greatest injustice is the truth that all we shall ever be is another cog in the machine. Our lives will be a cruel mockery of all the drugs cheerfully imbibed before sleep, given happily by our parents, concealed in charming words and pictures.

We will never do anything great. We will never fight in a noble war, pushing back against the tyranny of some grand and obvious evil. We will never champion some beautiful cause, or morally righteous deed. Surviving long enough to die is our greatest goal. Perpetuating the lie is our only purpose.

When we were kids, the darkness held all our fears. Monsters lurked in the closets and under our beds, ghosts hid in the corners, ready to pounce on us as we slept. As we grow older, the dark becomes a mirror, reflecting our deep regrets and worries. We lie awake at night, tossing and turning, trying with all our might to quiet our minds, to gain the brief respite of a feigned death.

We seek the comforts of distraction, to dull our perception of reality. We seek out games, books, movies, and drugs; anything to numb, to allow us a glimpse at something more beautiful. But when the screen dims, the cover closes, the high fades, we’re only left with the cold emptiness of truth.

So, I ask, what’s wrong with this generation?

Category: Short Story, SNHU Creative Writing, SNHU online creative writing, SNHU Student