There are certain things you never forget.
Like your first beer.
Your first cigarette.
The first time you had…… never mind.
Yesterday was the complete opposite of the day before. It was damn COLD out.
The day before, I was tanning with my legs up on the balcony railing. Yesterday, though, I only ventured out there a few times. And each time I wondered….. is summer really over?
Anyhoo -- at one point I heard a racket of voices down below in the park across the street. A father [presumably] was piloting a bike-riding kid along the paved pathway, and I quickly got the impression that the youngster was about to go solo.
There is a lovely clump of trees along that path, and just as father and son entered into it I heard the elder human being yell, "You're doing it, you're doing it" and a much younger voice in reply -- "I am. I'm doing it. I'm doing it."
The trees hid my view at that point, but I knew what was happening. But for those trees, I was voyeuristically witnessing history as it applied to one small, young life.
That kid was riding a bike for the first time.
I went back into my apartment before I ever saw either of them again.
But it made me recall a similar event in my own life, albeit a bit more tragic than this kid experienced.
A hundred or so years ago, my father was likewise guiding me up and down our driveway -- training wheels off for the first time ever. Then he let me go, yelling much the same thing as this father was, yesterday.
However, instead of an affirmative answer from myself, I went careening like a headless chicken into a rolled up spool of barbwire. My dad, believing at the time that he had a normal son and all, felt there was no reason I should go wobbling directly into this area of mayhem. But I did. Who could have known that his procrastination in installing that rolled up fence would involve so much bloodshed?
I gashed my leg open so bad the blood was exiting it horizontally.
I bear the scar to this day, just below my left knee.
In the summer I wear shorts at work. On my lunch break today, I took my work boots off and put on my flip flops. As I leaned down, I saw the scar, and thought of that kid yesterday.
Even though the trees hid him -- oh, how successful he sounded. So unlike me.