Who could have guessed?

26 Apr

Who could have guessed that the same kids who sat together around a campfire, kicked a ball around on a soccer field and studied chemistry in a classroom for countless hours, might, only a few years later, grow old? Who could have guessed the same kids who never made their curfew would be in bed early for work the next morning, only a few years later? That the same kids who sat in detention together would go to college, come out with a diploma and one day work in an office? In what time and in what space does all this take place?

Then marriage. Who could have guessed the same group of kids who spent hours on a bus together, flirting, nonsensical talking, might one day get married to someone nobody’s ever heard of in a town other than Buffalo? Or that you wouldn’t  be invited to the wedding?

We mixed souls back then, talking until 3 a.m. in the morning and paddling boats out into the middle of the lake while the moon watched overheard. Those were malleable days, when life was flexible and so we were flexible too, with our dreams and with our belief in each-other. The future was so wholly unknown we hardly liked to even mention it. There was college, of course. But first there were campfires and late-night swims and parties where we flirted shyly. Who could have ever guessed we’d grow old? Old, as in jobs where work looks like 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekends look like errands and our parents we finally understand. What happened to the evenings before the sun sets when everything’s quiet but the pounding of multiple hearts who know there’s no plans whatsoever but to be together until the evening’s over, when we must give up our collective youth spirit, say goodbye and return to our homes? There was an understanding back then, that it was us, together, against something we didn’t know. We knew it was coming, and we drew together tighter. In those days, we were all of the same ingredients, born in the suburbs, raised by good parents and put in a good school. We were familiar. We were meshed together, common by our youth and by the simple belief that somehow we would always be held together by the good fortune that brought us there. And who could have guessed, that one day the  youth spirit would be gone, replaced by grown, seperate souls, unrecognizable and strange  to one-another under the same stars that once heard our whispered secrets.

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