January 6, 2019

Old Summer Days

It’s a cold night and I’m thinking that summers ain't what they used to be, three months of sabbatical, sleeping in until the clock strikes 9 or 10 or 11 or maybe getting up early to watch cartoons...rushing out the door to play baseball...sometimes with friends, but usually by myself...imaginary leagues with imaginary teams like the Toronto Giants, the Cincinnati Crackers, and the San Diego Bombers...me being the best player in the league of course, something I couldn’t be when playing with my friends...and there were football leagues and hockey leagues--and once again I was the superstar...but as much as I loved sports, I was cursed with having little actual athletic ability...I played by myself and thought it was better to be an imaginary big fish in a small pond than a real minnow in the ocean...so I played in the backyard with the maple trees with their green leaves that played a sweet symphony in the wind...and various bushes with aliases and no forwarding addresses that rimmed the yard as my witnesses...and during the game, sometimes just sitting down for awhile and watching the monarch butterflies float around from place to place...it has been said that butterflies have such short lives, yet have time for everything...looking at the kaleidoscope of flowers planted in the silver colored planters by the side of the needs painting garage...and even as a young boy, wondering what kind of world I’ll grow up in later...things are so crazy now I thought...little did I know how crazy things would get when I got older...will there be a war I’ll have to fight in and maybe die in...what will high school be like when I get there, will I be popular?...and after school is over, will I go to college...where will I work?...but then just as quickly putting those thoughts aside and getting back to the game...sometimes I’d play army...always against the Germans...my army never fought the Japanese for some reason...I was thinking when I was watching golf...it seems nobody cheers for a German except another German...later I’d sit on the porch steps and wait for my Dad to get home from work at 4:30...pulling his bright yellow submarine company van in the driveway...after dinner, we’d play catch or if he was tired, he would just go downstairs into his work room and take a nap on the big yellow submarine beanbag in there...he had a man cave long before it became fashionable...sometimes at dusk, I’d go outside with my sister and catch fireflies and put them in a jar and watch them flash their mysterious lights and then letting them back out into nature to fulfill their destiny, whatever a fireflies destiny can be...my destiny was watch tv, take a bath and play with the little plastic boats I had...a little replica of the Olympia or the Lusitania or some other doomed ocean liner, I’m not sure...that sunk and re-sunk over and over in the bathtub...the people and crew aboard died a thousand deaths...then bedtime and dreaming of dreams...those days are gone now, just memories...the uncertainty has for the most part turned into certainty...same job, same mind rotting routine, my parents and sister all dead, the house I grew up in long gone...sometimes uncertainty is better than certainty...every once in a while, I’ll go outside and throw a ball against the side of my current apartment house a few times just for the hell of it...then I’ll go inside and grab some beers and sit in front of the television and medicate myself until I’m numb to the current reality.

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