Marshall and I met in Olympia and we had a conversation about what it means to grow up and what he wants from his life.
"My goal ever since leaving my parents house has been to live in a real house. I still haven't done that. My goals are to have hot water. To be able to poop successfully. I think I will feel old when I have a wife… or something.
I don't feel old.... But I have a tremendous fear of death, because I haven't really experienced it yet. I have a fear that I am dying. I fucked up a lot when I was a kid. I got in a lot of trouble, I stressed out my parents. With all good intentions, my mom was like ‘Ok Marshall, the only thing you can't do is die before me’. Now that is all I am worried about doing! So I am worried I am going to die in the next 20 years and it's gonna ruin my moms life. It's not about feeling old. I think I have a feeling that I am going to die in the next 20 years... and it's not because I smoke cigarettes, it's because I think a lot of people are going to die. I think the bubble is just about to pop. My life is completely unrealistic and unsustainable... selfish, consumptive and fucked up. Even if I buy everything second hand, and whatever." - Marshall A.
"So I was talking to my buddy Fred... we go downtown every Wednesday to see amateur comedy night and get drunk. He was telling me about this scientist who is like ‘yeah our gut bacteria, all our million of little microbes that live inside are gonna go instinct.... Because we are just drinking beer and eating pizza and even organic vegetable nutrition is declining by 30% in the last 20 years because they are being produced for commercial reasons.' We are fucked! It's not something where science can save us... because all of a sudden we just won't be able to digest this or that. You are not gonna be able to process anything you eat and you are going to die. I don't know if that is necessarily going to happen... but I think something like that is a very probable response to how we have been treating our habitat since America was colonized. I have been reading some history books. Our whole culture is based on this idea of extraction and consumption, and there is no reciprocity. It is just taking... all this great technology that we have is founded on this really exploitative sort of mentality that we have.... That is running out because there is no more North America to conquer. It is over.
For awhile it was cool... like OK, the earth is going to end in 150 years, I'm not gonna have any kids it's gonna be fine. But 15 years… I almost hope it happens sooner 'cause I want to be closer to the prime of my life when it happens. When Fred told me about that gut bacteria thing on a Wednesday night. He was playing pinball at the Brotherhood. He was just telling me about it. I was asking him all these questions. He told a good story about it and I believed him. I believe him! I really do! I think it's possible that something no one expects is going to happen very soon. Just because it has never happened before, doesn't mean it can't happen. People are always like ‘humans cant go extinct’, but why not!?"
"When I was in middle school. I was fascinated by prison and the holocaust. I don't know why. I just knew death was there. I can feel it inside of me, and I can see it everywhere. It actually is a relief... to think about things changing dramatically and very soon. Because it takes the pressure off of me…. Like... I didn't fail my mom if I die in 15 years because she's dying too! So hey! It's fine.... It's great. So I think sometimes, this is going to inspire me to do all the things that I wanna do…. But not really. I have a backlog of emotions and thoughts that I haven't dealt with… That I am not getting any closer to dealing with."
Monica: Why do you think that is?
"It is just easier not to! I don't have to. You can just… It's like doing carpentry. People say ‘man that looks great!’ and I'm like ‘yeah… its great’ everything looks great. Every year my family sends out a Christmas card. It's not only a photograph but you write like a paragraph or two of what you have been up to… Every year, I can make it sound really good. Like ‘yeah I built things! Im farming! Im traveling!' But you're not like, ‘Im depressed, I'm lonely, and I think I'm dying’… that just doesn't make it onto the Christmas card." - Marshall A.