Actually I think it's probably just a virus, but being a man I feel duty bound to lie in bed and suffer from intimations of mortality. If I can't get in the mood, there's always some Shostakovich on my MP3 player. I defy anyone to listen to Six Poems of Marina Tsvetayeva without succumbing to the urge to throw themselves under the nearest bus replacement service. However, when I was 17 I couldn't get enough of it.
I miss the emotional highs of being a teenager - the delusion that you are the hero of your own novel, embarking on a great adventure. I didn't relish discovering that in reality, I was a minor character in a badly-written blockbuster. However, I don't miss the terrible angst and black depressions that seemed to appear from nowhere.
I agree with Shaw that youth is wasted on the young. Looking back, my teens could have been one long snogfest if I hadn't been so idiotic. For example, when a girl asked me if I was interested in going to Paris for a weekend, I concluded that she might fancy me, but there wasn't enough evidence to reach a firm conclusion. How stupid can you get?
Instead, I spent far too much time listening to Mahler and watching obscure European films (although I'll admit that the latter was partly for the gratuitous nudity).
In spite of this, I would give anything to recapture a feeling I had when I was 19, walking along a moonlit beach in Dorset. I have been to many far more remarkable places since then, but my responses are always tempered by a terrible self-consciouness: here I am on the edge of the Grand Canyon and I can see that it is awe-inspiring, but am I feeling what I should be feeling? In Dorset, I experienced a perfect moment; perhaps because I was surprised by joy (and top marks if you spotted the references to both C.S.Lewis and a Martine McCutcheon single).
I'm still have those wonderful serendipitous moments, but the moment I become aware, the bubble bursts. It's very annoying.
If you're wondering what the point to this post is, I'm afraid that there isn't one. These are the demented ramblings of someone in the advanced stages of Man Flu, with his whole life flashing before him. I do apologise.