My parents used to tell me that someday I’d wish to be a child again. I thought they were a bit senile. Who would want to live a life with no TV, cell phone or Facebook again? Who wants to fish in clean water, breathe unpolluted air, or play in the middle of the street without harm? Who needs to sleep through a quiet night and wake up refreshed? Who needs simplicity, friends …family? Why would I want to hug my father and mother or tell my brothers and sisters I love them?
“Not me,” said the ignorance of youth.
The humidity was doing a good job of outpacing the temperature. Until around 10 AM when the thermometer pushed over 100. That’s when 176 frightened kids and a few old hippies staggered out of the crowded cattle trucks.
“Alright maggots, RUN,” voices screamed in unison from under wide brimmed Smokey Bear hats. So we ran, duffle bags slung over shoulders, for hours before finally coming to attention under the blistering Missouri sun. All the while the bears circled, sniffing the air and grunting.
“Don’t show them any fear,” one of the old hippies told me. “They prey on the weak.”
On our wedding day, the summer was beginning to fade away but autumn had not taken over the world. The sky opened and dropped a few tears of happiness onto the church rooftop while we said our vows. Although the temperature was mild, our passion still scorched our skin like a burning July sun with every touch. My Army uniformed paled against the brilliance of your winter white wedding dress. You smelled like wild flowers in the spring. We laughed when we promised all our worldly possessions to each other. We did not understand yet how rich we truly were.
I’m interested in one thing, telling a story. If I wanted to show you a story, I’d take up painting. I write for me and I know what I like. I don’t write for some professor, sitting in a stuffy office, scowling at my lack of proper style. So yes, I’ll start a sentence with a conjunction, use a comma when it should be a semicolon, and use nouns as verbs. It only matters that I like it. If you like it, share it. If you don’t, that’s ok with…who am I trying to kid…please, please, please like it too.
When my friend opens her mouth, hatred and ugliness comes flying out. I look at my wife who mirrors my quizzical expression and we wonder how one person could hate everything so much? True, she’s not rich, but certainly not poor either. She isn’t an ugly woman. She has a loving husband, nice children and a few wonderful grandchildren.
Perhaps age is creeping into her mind and she’s feeling mortal.
Has she been angry for so long that it just seems normal or does she just enjoys being angry.
I have to wonder, does she care that she’s becoming intolerable?