HEARTFELT APOLOGIES FOR BEING LATE THIS MORNING. I HOPE THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE ALREADY CHECKED THE SITE RETURN TO SEE WHY I WAS DERELICT. THE REASON: Forgot to hit “Publish.”
At any rate, lets go for a short-short this week. Give me some feedback on the following.
How many times have we longed to recapture our carefree childhood? That time of light-hearted companionship and endless play. But was that really the way of things?
On sober reflection, I recall days of restless seas and stormy clouds. Years fraught with serious concerns. Would it rain-out next weekend’s family picnic? Could I elude Worrell Wight this morning and make it to third grade class without having my lunch money hijacked? Was Justin Hix serious about beating me up after school? What was his beef, anyway? He hadn’t liked my looks, if I recalled correctly. Was I in trouble because I forgot to do my homework? Of course, I was.
Once started down this line of thinking, a whole host of cares came flooding back. What would Mom say over the rip in my new pants? And would Dad haul out the switch because I didn’t clean the garage like he told me? Why couldn’t I catch a high fly or hit a slowball on the softball field? Would I ever grow enough for the football team? Would I survive if I accepted the dare to jump off the high platform at the swimming pool? Would the day ever end, the weekend arrive? When would this interminable school term be over? How many weeks, months, years before I graduated high school? College?
But I didn’t really know what trouble was until I was fourteen and Jemimah Wheatley shucked her embryonic cocoon and emerged as a raven-haired, buttery-skinned lass with budding breasts and swaying hips and slender ankles. Most guys fixated on the soft mounds of her bosom, but those ankles and the smooth calves above them were what got me.
Miracle of miracles! She returned my interest and favored me over all the other slobbering, pawing guys when I dubbed her Jemma once I learned Jemimah made her feel like a bottle of pancake syrup.
So we became an item. A wonderfully attractive couple at dances and the malt shop and simply walking down the hallway at school – at least her half of the pair was. But that brought worries of its own. Jerry was trying to horn in, take her away. She flirted with Charles but claimed that was just to make him blush. I enjoyed our relationship – especially the stolen kisses at night – but I always had to be on guard, protect our association. I turned into Justin Hix, ready to fight at the slightest hint of intrusion. And I prevailed. We went together all through eighth grade. That summer was marvelous even though I had a job at the corner grocer’s and fretted over what she was doing while I was working.
The relationship was still intact at the beginning of the next school year. Intact but different. I knew what her demands would be before she voiced them, and they often were not my preferences. Besides, during the summer, Beth Winstead had turned into a really beautiful girl with curly blonde hair that caught the sun and reflected it back into my eyes.
All in all, I think I preferred the grown-up trials and tribulations I face today. At least I knew who I was now and didn’t chase after the first “this,” the next “that,” and the following “other” whenever they deigned to come along.
Well, except maybe on the stock market. She was such an exacting mistress I had long ago started calling her Jemma.
Life isn’t always the way we want to remember it, is it? I have a friend who studies the brain, and she says it’s our System 1 (unconscious) arranging memories the way we want them to be. At any rate, a serious look at your idyllic past may reveal it wasn’t that great, after all.
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New Posts are published at 6:00 a.m. each Thursday.