The picture I have in my mind of some of you from what feels like mere seconds ago, blends with you as you are now, sometimes like chickpeas and humus, hard to believe one was once the other – other times like milk in espresso smoothing out the rough, scalding edges of your youthful flavor. And do you see me as still an avocado, or am I now guacamole? Plain black pekoe or iced chai? Melancholy and my mirror suggest that measure us both only through my slightly wishful, much more wistful, fading blue, Dorian Grayish eyes.
My history, truth, and biases now my own, often force themselves on my small world. My intentions now truer, more sure of themselves, mostly stay in the garden and pull weeds. My body betrays me at times now, or is it I that betrayed it? I can only live forever as long as I’m remembered anyway… Yes, part of youth was indeed wasted on me, Mr. Shaw, when I was young.
But what remains is in my mind – always in my mind – the “what-ifs” not of regret but of my young son’s suppositions and odd tangents, still spinning and juggling in there like the octopus ride at the county fair. I search my pockets for more tickets, catch wind of corn-dogs and carnival barkers, and let ideas lead me deep into the Midway.
I feel mostly successful, in the Emersonian way, as it should be. My children eat tomatoes and sweet peas off our vines and I am rightfully laughed at often and much over my dedication to our 12 by 24 foot salad bar. If I could only keep the dogs from leaping the low fence just to dig up the onions and pee on the pumpkins right in front of me.
I cultivate earth, metaphor and memories – hoping still to grow as tall as the sunflowers. My Memories of you and of us, when they come, bring me back home dressed in school colors, emancipating us both from past sins and future judgments. Time now to relax, let our hair down – if we’ve still got it – and embrace whatever or whomever stands before us (unless, of course, if it is Mayfield sporting only his Nikes once more).
Damn, it is truly good to see you again, ah, Tom? Tim? Uh, TONY! – Tony?