Sunday Story: "The Cost of Eternal Youth" by Bark M.

Mark "Bark M." Baruth
by Mark "Bark M." Baruth

The word “bad,” in and of itself, is so subjective, isn’t it? Certainly one could make the case that there’s “bad” and “good” in all of us, but I think that the modern world chooses to look at it this way: to be “bad” is really just to be selfish. Even though the media would have you believe that the whole world is comprised of childless atheists who live in three-story walk ups in northeastern metropolises, in reality, most of America is filled with deity-believing, family-supporting, hard working men and women. These are “good” people. They take care of each other. They act in the interest of the common welfare. I’m glad they exist.

I’m just not one of them.

You see, I have a passion for life. THIS life. I recently saw a whole group of Amish people at the airport. Okay, I guess they couldn’t have been Amish if they were at the airport, right? So they were Mennonite or something. Anyway, the point is, I saw the women walking by in their denim dresses and their white little caps on their heads and the men with their beards and their suspenders and I thought, Christ, I hope they’re right for their sakes. If there is nothing but eternal darkness at the end of this life, then, I mean, what a waste of consciousness!

A friend of mine once told me that where he grew up in Indiana, the Amish girls would take their buggies into town and park them behind the gas station. Then, they would change into regular clothes, put on makeup, and go look for boys to cruise with. I hope that these women did the same thing at some point. I hope that some teenaged Indiana boys bent them over the hood of a Monte Carlo behind a barn and had their way with them. THAT’S life. Or at least it counts as living, you know?

There I go again. All over the place. My doctor prescribed some meds to help me with that. He says that it was probably missed by the doctors when I was a kid because I was so smart and always did well in school, but that I’m classic ADD. Honestly, it makes sense. It might even explain why I am the way I am. The meds worked for a while, but eventually I found that the sexual side effects, which I’m not even gonna go into here, were too much. So I quit using them, which means that you have to deal with my stream of consciousness.

Where was I? Oh, yeah, my undeniable selfishness. Another friend of mine said to me just yesterday that “there’s no point in NOT being selfish. You only get one shot at life, so take care of yourself. Who else is gonna do it?” He said this while we were lounging at the pool in our apartment complex here in Charlotte. Christ, you should see this complex and this pool. Every little former sorority girl who moved here after college to make it big in the banking industry lives here, and most of them treated themselves to an automatic BMW 320i sedan (complete with Sensatec interiors and $385 a month lease payments) and a set of implants as graduation presents. They view weekend pool time much like they do the bars—it’s a mating ritual where only the strong survive. The little hardbodies dip their toes precariously into the water, but they would never actually swim. Who swims at a pool?

Most of them think I’m about 29. Little do they know…I’m 38. If I have any religion, it’s the Church of Tony Horton, and I attend my church even more regularly than my little old grandparents in Miami do theirs. I’m at about six percent body fat, and I’d be even lower if it weren’t for the wine habit I seem to have acquired over the years.

The young women love that shit—they swoon over the fact that I don’t drink PBR like the wannabe hipsters at the NoDa bars. Of course, they don’t know the difference between an ’07 Insignia and Yellow Tail Merlot, but they sure as hell know the price difference on the wine list. They think I’m a gentleman because I pick up the tab and I open doors. They talk about how nice it is to be with a man who isn’t so selfish in bed. Of course, the last little nosy twenty-three year old bitch I took home had the nerve to actually sneak a look at my driver’s license in my wallet when I was pissing out the remnants of the Heitz Cellars Cab we drank that night. She must have literally taken two steps backwards when she saw my birthdate.

“Um, I think we might be looking for different things here,” she stuttered. “I’m just looking to be casual and have some fun.”

So am I, baby. So am I.

So what does a discerning gentleman like myself drive, you might ask? It’s a good question, and one without an easy answer. This generation of younger women can be tough for a lot of guys to figure out. They want to feel like their purchases validate their socially-approved list of careabouts, and, of course, that means that yours has to, as well. So you can’t go all out for some badass 600 horsepower muscle car—no, that wouldn’t be environmentally conscious. Plus, too many of them moved here for some backwards little town in Appalachia, and the sight of a Vette or a Challenger is uncomfortably close to home for them.

BMW has totally become a bitch brand. These girls don’t know the difference between their little F30 shitboxes and an M5, and I’m not inclined to spend the time educating them. Their dads drive Benzes, and while many of them are happy to call me Daddy around 12:30 at night, they don’t really want to be reminded of those expectations and pressures. Can’t be Japanese, either—they drove Civics all throughout high school and college, and they know those cars are code for “poor.”

The answer? For me, it was easy. Audi RS7. Somehow, despite their annoying desire to keep going downmarket, Audi has become a very potent brand with young women. As at least a few have said, it looks “sexy as fuck.” The shape of it helps them realize it’s not an A3 or A4, too. It has four doors, so it’s suitably grown-up—they know I’m not a kid. I could have gotten any color I wanted, but I chose white, because girls hate ostentatiously colored cars. Even though it’s got about 560 HP, they don’t seem to think of it as being a big fuel burner. And somehow, they all know it’s a hundred grand, which lets them know that a set of Christian Louboutins isn’t out of the question, should they decide to spend a weekend in my company, of course.

I realize what some of you are probably thinking at this point. You’re thinking, “I fucking hate this guy.” Right? All my brand name-dropping and posturing makes you feel a little yucky inside. You immediately start rationalizing inside your mind, telling yourself that you’re so glad that your wife isn’t so shallow, and that she loves you for your mind and that you love her for her kind and generous heart. You’re telling yourself that she’s so much more beautiful with her stretch marks, oops, I mean,”tiger stripes,” than any of these Maxim model dimes that are littered about my life. You laugh at my financial decisions, saying how you bought your 2009 mid-sized sedan after somebody else took the hit for you, and how it’s “just a depreciating appliance.” You’ve got your money in smart investments like a three bedroom home in a subdivision with really good schools nearby.

Pardon me while I laugh at you and your bullshit suburban life with your Altima and your picket fence and your Labrador retriever. You wish you could be me, but you can’t. You’re not smart enough. You’re not handsome enough. And, most importantly, you’re not wealthy enough. I drive fast cars. I have sex with gorgeous twentysomethings. I live in a building where they clean my carpets for me monthly after they move my Niccoletti furniture carefully out of the way. I went to Prague with a former SEC cheerleader last weekend. You went to a youth soccer game. Guess which one was more exciting?

In fact, at this very moment, I’m about to pull out onto South street so I can drive Uptown to have dinner at Chima with a stunning little brunette I met at the pool just the other night. I’m 38 years old, I’m ripped, I’m stacking dollars, and oh fuck that bus just ran the red light—

Mark "Bark M." Baruth
Mark "Bark M." Baruth

More by Mark "Bark M." Baruth

Join the conversation
3 of 70 comments
  • CoffeeLover CoffeeLover on Jul 22, 2014

    I always (eventually) come by for the Sunday fiction; this one was a little too heavy on the car preferences. I have known and dated and even loved a few guys who were approaching this type. Some aged out of it. One made a big time ethical (not sexual! or embezzlement) at work and was out on his ass. Saw him three or four years later and he was pathetic: needed a haircut, clothes out of style, almost begging me to "invest" in his new venture. The whole key to this "lifestyle" is money. If there are any single women reading this, check out the guy's father. He often is a good predictor of what you will get. If Dad is out of the picture (not dead, that's different) you better really watch out.

  • Danio3834 Danio3834 on Jul 22, 2014

    Sh1t was so cash. TTAC's version of, "My name is John, and I hate every single one of you."

  • Ras815 Their naming scheme is almost as idiotic as having a totally separate Polestar brand for EVs that look exactly Volvos. But you can tell it came from the same idiocy.
  • Dukeisduke "The EX naming convention is used for the automaker’s new and upcoming EVs, the EX30 and EX90."Only upcoming when they can figure out the software.
  • SCE to AUX I've always said that consumer/business pressures will reign in government decrees, as they have in the past in places like California. That state has moved the goalposts many times for "ZEV" mandates.But the problem is the depth of politicization of the EPA. Mfrs need continuity and long-term commitment to requirements, not living on a 4-year political cycle of who's in the White House and Congress. Your President - whomever that is - isn't going to be around forever.Ironically, backing off the gas means handing a greater lead to Tesla, Rivian, and Lucid, (and possibly H/K/G). The whiners have begun heavy investments whose ROI will be extended by years, and their EV sales will reduce even further.It's like the coach granting his players less practice time because they're tired, while the other team stays fit - that's how you lose the game.
  • Dukeisduke The administration is slowly dribbling out details of the change - it's like they don't want to piss off environmentalists, the auto manufacturers, or the UAW. John McElroy covered this very well in today's installment of Autoline Daily: AD #3751 - 2024 U.S. EV Sales Could Grow 43%; China Price War Spreads To ICE; U.S Vehicles Biggest Ever, Also Lowest CO2 - AutolineAlso, even though vehicles in the US have gotten larger, heavier, and more powerful (thanks to the shift away from sedans to trucks and SUVs), according to a year-end report by the EPA, in 2023, average fuel economy was at its highest ever, and CO2 emissions of new vehicles were at their lowest ever ( The 2023 EPA Automotive Trends Report: Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Fuel Economy, and Technology since 1975, Executive Summary (EPA-420-S-23-002, December 2023 ).
  • Golden2husky How about real names instead of alphabet/numeric soup?