Go Home and Start Over


Pic of the day, part i:  The Hoda Coast in Awa Province, from the 36 views of Mount Fuji by Hiroshige Utagawa

__________________________

Just between us
I think it’s time for us to recognize
The differences we sometimes fear to show

Rush, Entre Nous

___________________________

Continued from last time:

The kids were mostly 14 and 15 year olds as far as I could tell.  I could be wrong but 15 is as good as 19 as far as I am concerned.  High school or maybe early college age I thought, not old enough to drink and I wasn’t sure how well they’d be able to handle cooking.  They were out near the top of the hill with a barbeque going though.  They had a cooler and were hanging out tossing a football around, drinking a few beers just before 11 am.

Kind of struck me as odd.  I didn’t say anything, when I was that age I would have done the same thing.  I was happy in one way that there were kids who would so brazenly party like this at the beginning of the day.  I thought that kind of glorious madness had gone the way of the carrier pigeon.

There were about 10 or 12 of them, all young men.  Most were pasty faced and all but one were rail thin.  All were wearing shorts and a number were wearing basketball jerseys and one was wearing a purple Vikings football jersey.  There was a radio blasting some kind of electronic music and there were a few burgers cooking on the grill, from what I could make out.

I passed them and one of them said something to me.  I could not figure out what he said so I grunted in his direction and pretended to be intensely interested in my watch.  I didn’t want to admit that that was me a quarter of a century ago. I didn’t want to admit that there was even a slight urge to grab the ball, grab a beer and hang out and just relax.

The kid in the Vikings jersey said “How was the run, bruh?”  I looked at him smiled and said “pretty good, 7 miles, 52 minutes.”  It was nowhere near the truth but I didn’t care.  I really just wanted to get out and head back home, torn as I was about wanting to hang out.  These kids were, if I was lucky a third my age.  I ain’t hanging with that, no matter how much beer, burgers and just hanging out with no cares in the world called.

I tossed the kid the horns and kept on walking.  The fat kid with the Lin Knicks jersey on said something to his buddy the vikings fan and they went their merry way, and I mine.

Though about turning around and saying something adult to them, but I wasn’t feeling like all that much of one at that point.  Not near 11 am on a day off on a Friday fresh from running ,and walking home to do nothing in particular.  Kids do that, not adults.

The thought infuriates me.  Makes me feel like I’m still a kid.  The world is making me feel like a kid.  Not in a positive way, not young at heart when everyone else my age feels old, whatever that means.  In a negative way, not begin allowed to join in the world of work and money and all the good things in life because I’m not working enough. Because I’m not good enough.  Like some kid who wasn’t picked for the team because he’s too small.

I was in the middle of this reverie when a man on a bike came very close to me riding his bike down hill while I was walking up it.  Felt the breeze, could have sworn I felt something on the bike touch me as he went by.  He wasn’t paying attention, and neither was I.  He slowed down, and I stopped and turned around and gave him the finger and yelled  “Watch it, asshole! There’s a reason riding those things is illegal here!”

He didn’t stop.

And I was happy about it.  For all that he was in the wrong, I wasn’t sure I wanted to confront anyone with anything.  I just wanted to go home and get back to the air conditioning, as I was beginning to feel the heat again.  I wanted to get back and check and see if I was going to have work the following week.  I wanted to get back home and see if any of the places that I had interviewed with recently had called back, wanting to hire me.

I didn’t want to feel obligated to punch anyone in the face for the crime of being human and simply not watching where they were going.  Everyone does it, I do it on occasion, but that doesn’t mean I’m gonna lay off of someone for doing it around me.  Then I realized that I didn’t really feel like that, and I was just happy that the guy didn’t kill me, and that we didn’t have to confront each other with our combined incompetence.

Hell, at this point I’m just annoyed at everything.  Stupid bike guy, stupid kids, stupid everyone.

Just go home and start over, dammit.

I hit the top of the hill and make the turn out of the park, looking for shade trees to walk under.

___________________________

Pic of the day, part ii:  Inume Pass in Kai Province, from the 36 Views of Mount Fuji by Hiroshige Utagawa

___________________________

A certain degree of surrender
To the forces of light and heat
A shot of satisfaction
In a willingness to risk defeat

Rush, One Little Victory

___________________________

That’s it from here, America.  G’night.

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