Underthecurrent


Itchy fingers
June 17, 2016, 4:01 am
Filed under: when I grow up

Lately the urge to write is pressing, poems pour our midday on pads where it must look like intense notes are being taken, maybe almost ten years since that last happened.

Think about L. and M.

Nearly ten years ago, this couple that lived mostly in a tent, arriving by way of overlander from unstated adventure.  They spent long days making food, living in and by the sea, sipping beer, seeming happy.  There’s this picture of them and a friend of mine, smiling and casually waving on a porch that is emblematic of that idyllic stretch.  A few years older and versed in the world, it seemed like the goal.

The thing about L and M is that after those months faded, they stayed, and broke up.  She made a bad decision with a way too young bartender that looked like an unshaven muppet.  If memory serves, the muppet then ran off with some new conquest and L broke her hand giving him a long due punch.  This story would be told years later in whisper tones.  The allegory of L and M.

It’s not clear why this rises to the top now.  Maybe because it’s a warning about disengaging too fully from these adult expectations, wandering a little too far into neverland, stagnating to the point of going down the rabbit hole.

*

Here, we teeter above that.  There should be just enough to step out of this life for a moment, take some time, see some things.  Not so different from L and M, probably about the same age they were, although in your early twenties everyone who is older is just “older” (this year I am nearing the age I was when I met T.E., my friend, mentor and guardian, which has created an entirely different insight into our relationship).

There is no illusion that this is not some round-the-world gap year, the ‘About’ portion of this will not read “I sold all my things and quit my corporate job so I could have this amazing endless journey.

First, of course, because that would mean owning things worth selling.

But where makes sense now?  In the world, it’s almost always clear where the solo twenty somethings run wild, in fact there are many stereotypical versions of that experience to have:  working holiday in the commonwealth, voluntourism, SE Asia trek, hostelling in Europe.  There’s also the retiree tour:  villas in Spain or Mexico, RV living, central american apartments.  It’s not completely clear what makes sense in between that time, other than the I-sold-all-my-things version.

*

The secret is L and M went home, apart, and eventually found a way back, and now there are pictures of them every week taking long sweet walks and playing with dogs.

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