CHICAGO—Following a nearly four-year period in which he was, by all accounts, living at the very peak of his existence, 26-year-old Brian Koning unknowingly entered the final 168 hours of his heyday Monday.
Koning began his current halcyon days on June 23, 2005, when he moved into a loft apartment in Chicago with three old friends from high school. Since then, the Ohio University alum's daily routine has been a series of generally satisfying social interactions and life experiences that—beginning Monday at approximately 10:35 a.m.—he will forever look back upon with a pained sense of nostalgia.
"I'm having a blast," Koning recently said to a friend, oblivious to the next three decades of work stress and financial responsibilities that will one day lead him to resent ever having been this happy. "Work's great, life's great, I'm going out every night—I can't imagine things being better than this."
Although Koning claimed that he had a "super-tight" group of friends who would be part of his life "forever," sources reported that his two closest buddies will soon respectively enroll in a masters program at Berkeley and accept a computer programming job in Denver, causing their bonds of friendship to slowly dissolve over the next five years.
According to a number of erroneous statements Koning has made in the dwindling weeks of his prime, his romantic situation also appears promising.
"I really think Tracy and I might have a future together," Koning said of 27-year-old Tracy Krupman, whom he will soon marry on an emotional whim, and toward whom he will become incresingly embittered and even hateful over the next decade. "We have a real connection, and I think our best times are yet to come."
"And I'm really starting to settle into Chicago," continued Koning, who in three months will be forced to move to Tacoma, WA in order to care for Krupman's ailing father. "I can totally see myself becoming one of those 'Chicago guys' who lives here for the rest of his life. I love it out here."
While evidence suggests that Koning could conceivably prolong his life's pinnacle for another one or two years by leaving Krupman and following his dream of opening a trading cards and collectibles shop, the likelihood of this ever occurring is thought to be incredibly small.
Koning, who currently fills his weekends with volunteer work, regular exercise, and recreational travel, will reportedly soon be granted a minor promotion that will demand all of his free time without providing any additional satisfaction. He is then expected to begin a gradual slide into unfulfilling 60-hour work weeks highlighted by the occasional halfway decent nap.
"Things are finally looking up for me," Koning said in a poignantly inaccurate statement to his mother during a recent phone conversation. "All the hard stuff is behind me, and I feel like it's time to kick back and just enjoy myself. You know, really start living."
While social scientists believe heydays can last anywhere from one month to several decades—and may in some cases occur intermittently—Koning's personal apex is believed to be a fluke event that has no chance of recurring.
"The period of time that will come to be known as Mr. Koning's 'glory days' has actually exceeded the national average by more than six months," said Dr. Thomas Washam of the Brown University Department of Human Behavior. "Taking into account a number of variables, including the current financial markets and his father's hairline, I believe this young man should feel very lucky to have had his good run last as long as it did. Instead, he will most likely live out the rest of his life in a state of slowly mounting sadness and regret."
Koning, who is currently training for an upcoming triathlon, has remained blissfully unaware of the fact that he will soon injure his left knee, leading to persistent, lifelong pain that will make it difficult for him to play with his children, who will all grow up to despise him.