NEW YORK—An attempt Monday to impart a piece of upbeat, life-affirming wisdom about enjoying one’s youth reportedly conveyed a desperate, melancholy tone that made the message feel considerably sadder than intended, sources confirmed. “Enjoy all the freedom and all the options you have now because you can never go back,” a well-meaning Jeff Gibbons, 48, told Eric Portman, 24, in what observers said sounded far less like a motivational appeal to seize the day, as he meant it to, and more like a naked cry for help. “Sooner than you think you’ll wake up and you won’t have your whole life ahead of you. And those carefree days when it seemed like anything was possible will be over. So enjoy it while it lasts.” At press time, instead of coming across as playful and lighthearted, Gibbons sounded like he would absolutely kill somebody if it meant he could be Portman’s age again.
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