When I was a freshman at the university of wisconsin in 1960, i sat next to a lusciously shaped girl in french 101. She appeared soft and sensuous, large breasted and raven-haired, not skinny and scrawny like the anarexic models of today. Her skin was flawless, a creamy off-white, and her face sculpted with the perfection of an ancient greek statue. Her name was Susan Potash and I was helplessly, hopelessly in love with her. i fantasized about her every night as i passed into sleep, imagining the most carnal yet romantic intertwinings of our body and souls and holes. i ached to be spending the rest of my life with her on the island of corfu.

She was completely out of my league, of course. I was a nerdy little guy from New Jersey, she a political radical who had grown up in manhattan. She was militant, a warrior for justice and against the bourgeoisie, of which i was so obviously a charter member. she had dirt under her finger nails and smelled of pot. Her long thick black french braid curled down her back and sometimes even around onto her desk like a living sexual organ.

at the same time as i was taking french with susan, i was taking philosphy 101. For some reason i enjoyed it, digging ever deeper into the essays by kant and hume we were assigned every week. i found by reading it over and over again -- something i had never done in past courses and would never do in future ones -- that the impossibly dense prose would begin to yield meaning. i was good at it, which at the time was about the only thing feeding my much battered self-esteem.

somehow i wanted to communicate my expertise in philosophy to susan, my feeling being that though i lacked height, looks, confidence, charisma, and hot sexual experience, she would be impressed by my intellectual brilliance. it suddenly occurred to me that if i could come up with THE ANSWER TO LIFE, she would be so impressed she would step out of her panties for me, a garment she probably changed only every third day. oh, how i longed to collect her discarded pairs.

so i lay in bed everynight imagining the headlines in the wisconsin badger, freshman philosophy student comes up with the meaning of life. freshman figures it out -- the answer to life. and susan coming to class that morning, her enormous dark brown eyes misty with love and lust for me. the only glitch in this most delicious of fantasies was that i could never actually think what the answer to life was. i knew it was out there somewhere, that it was achievable, more than that, just around the corner. but i could never quite wrap my arms around it.

Well, you know what? 48 years later i finally have. the purpose of life is to prolong life, to figure out how to extend life, not just its length, although that's paramount, but its quality. i want to be playing great fucking golf at 127 years old, fucking my hot 126 year old wife every night, wringing chandalier-shaking orgasms out of her that put 19 year olds to shame.

Impossible? Fuck you. If we took all the fucking billions we spend on defense and warfare, the best minds on our planet would be figuring out how to work magic with genes. the average age of death for men in the 1920s was something like 57. it's now about 75 -- an advance of 18 fucking years! and we know so much more now than we did then.

So that's it, friend, the meaning of life: IT IS TO BE EXTENDED AS LONG AS IT CAN. We're the only species on earth that knows it's going to die. What's the only rational reaction? to put the inevitable off as long as is humanly possible. you read it here first, pal. now get your ass out and spread the word. if you don't, you'll be staring death in the face before you know it.


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