The Preventable Future of Peter Jones
by Joshua Ogden
I was walking the other day and just kind of looking up at the sky and smelling the air. I
was by myself, which was an unusual circumstance as I don't have any lack of friends or love and
support from my family. I've got a healthy body and a strong, eager mind. I don't have many
problems in my life that should cause me to worry too much about my future.
But something about the stillness of the world and how I'm at the edge between my old
one and the new one got me thinking about what I want from all of this. I've just graduated from
high school, and this walk happened after the ceremony and after the parties and celebrations.
And while I was thinking, this desperation came into myself, this panicked feeling. So I wrote it
all down in the notebook I was carrying with me, and I'll copy it here.
I want to fall in love.
I want to find a woman who looks at me and truly sees me, and I want to look at her and
truly see her, and I want us to look at each other and know that the other is seeing the seeing. A
grand circle, if that makes any sense.
I want to have a family.
I want to be a good father to my children, someone to look up to without trying to. I want
to show them the best things while also showing them, in contrast, the terrible things that will hurt
them. I want to show them how to think for themselves without being controlled by anything else
so that they will see the good and the bad and choose the good. I want to show them how to love,
through loving their mother and each of them. I want them to know that I see them, too.
I want to fulfill my dreams, as I've always dreamt, while at the same time supplying a
comfortable life for my family.
It might be fun to go skydiving. I definitely want to travel, a lot. But since I was little and
read about hobbits and wizard schools, I've wanted to write stories. I love words and the way
they can create beauty and reveal the truth that isn't usually easy (but is exquisite) to see.
I want to know of something that is, somehow, greater than these things. Of God,
I want to know if life is it, if we're just going to die and be dead and meaningless, or if
there's "More" after our bodies are dust. And I want to know how to get there if there is such a
I want to love and to be happy during every different part of my life, if it is even meant to
be lived in segments. I think, though, that I want to see it as a single, wonderful thing.
These things are the things that I think make life worth living and fill it, bursting, with a
joy that is wonderful beyond what even words can express. It's so simple. I see it all so clearly. I
feel them in my chest so tightly, so surely. I need these things the same way I need air and lungs.