I stood under the shower and let my thoughts drift as they always do, flowing from one topic to another. That spider in the corner. Yes, it's still alive, hope it doesn't come near me.... Homestar Runner.... Then something strange happened.
'Remember that conversation in the beer garden earlier today? You put it aside with talk of holidays and those episodes of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but now it's time to reflect,' my brain said. 'One day Mum and Dad will die. How will the funerals be arranged? Where will they be? You don't know. And hey, what about your own? Could be a while off yet, but it will come one day. And you don't know how it'll be arranged. How will you die? And who will arrange it? You don't have a girlfriend. You won't have children at this rate.'
By this point, I had sank to the floor of the bathtub, and was vaguely watching the water flowing down the plughole, swirling around the hair trap, my head in my hands. 'I could adopt?' I thought, feebly.
'Don't be stupid,' the brain retorted. 'A single man adopting just for some vague sense of a legacy? How's THAT going to look? One day you will die, and you don't know how to deal with it.'
As I hauled myself up, glancing at the spider, and began to wash my hair, I tried to distract myself. The first thing that came into my head was Godzilla, but he faded away as quickly as he came, leaving only that mantra: 'Everyone you love will die, and so will you. Who will find you? Where will you go after that?'
I finished, stepped out and tried to towel myself off, to little avail. I found myself standing there, nude and dripping slightly, idly flexing my fingers in front of me without thinking, feeling little but cold terror. 'So much for relaxation,' I thought.
'Hey,' my brain said as I wandered out, 'Makes the idea of telling the parents you're a nudist seem like nothing really, doesn't it?'
And that was my first taste of what I believe to be real adult fear. Maturity? You can keep it.