For all that I could remember, for all I could ever remember, for all the times that I dusted off my aching knees to build up my power of love that thrust my gold into the clear blue skies; it was all I was, all I cared to be, all I had dreamed of being, all that was allowed to rest – to be the remnants of some hard played game digging into worn parts of my gloves.
For without these delightful glories (curdling my cream and harmonizing my deep south Presbyterian choir) I was merely a soldier. A hard edged, fine tuned, stainless steel blade of America’s finest earth (plus of course the blood, sweat, and rock hard fists heft my direction). Hardly left a consequence upon my check-marked debriefing.
Here I stood in future’s year, inhaling deep to remember what it felt like laying on the freshly mowed grass in the heat of summer, slow moving cars rolling along manicured gravel. An itch, creeping in and lingering a while as momma’s freshly squeezed – and heavily iced – lemonade tinkled around inside a transparent and sweating summer repair.
But now I wasn’t heading here or there. I wasn’t coming or going. I wasn’t even known amongst the squirrels and bluejays and Chester, the neighbor’s dog, had wilting flowers.
You cannot crush what once lived inside a boy. A man can not fall flat and lie upon his back and let these thoughts turn and turn and turn without the understanding of what has come to pass. Much like Tchaikovsky’s flurrying madness, torrent thoughts arrest my secret moments until the uneven dice with blank looking stares roll the number five five times in a row. To end a second chapter but never ending. Never an end. Never to be ended.
Without knowing then, I was knocking at a door I had left without looking back. A door that still had a mesh pane to keep out the flies. A door that creaked and banged shut no matter how slow it was released. A door that acted as the liaison between country folk and their well meaning manner. A door that punctuated my knocking and brought old – as in aging – footsteps squinted hard to recognize the stranger the stood just on the other side.