Sitting and watching the memories of a life flutter by.
|In my beginning years I was enamored with trains, the mystery of what they carried, who they carried, where it came from and where it was going. I made up huge fantasies about them populated with treasures, monsters, princesses and hero knights to save them and “get their hand” with the treasure. After an excited telling of one tale to my mother she laughed and I learned getting their hand didn’t involve cutting it off. A child’s mind is very literal.
Now I’m in my last years, my shadow years as my friend, Gerry, puts it. He’s a crusty old fart like me and we spend a lot of time “talking over the fence,” so to speak. Now the Fence is a cellphone or a stop at a local home-brew coffee house where in good weather we sit outside and admire the women who walk by. We don’t leer or make crude comments. They’re low asides only we can hear.
“Catch the butt on that one, she is gorgeous.”
“You got that right, and the rest of her is first prize material too.”
I just moved into an apartment overlooking a single rail line and I find myself jumping and running to a window to watch. Maybe that’s why it’s called “Second Childhood,” I get as much pleasure now as I did then.
Mostly I sit watching the dead leaves blowing along the tracks thinking, “That still green one is for when I kissed Libby the first time, what a glory that was, and that broken one is for the time I thought I was Superman, but discovered I couldn’t fly, or catch myself as the limb broke and so did my arm.”
I get a lot of comfort now sitting and watching each piece of me flutter by.