Thursday, February 28, 2008

50 this year

I remember when I was a boy, an adolescent, a young man, and my eyes filled with a vision of a girl and my heart skipped a beat. She was everything at that point and time that I could ask for. In the school yard we would send messengers to ask questions in order to probe the possibilities. Discretion was always the objective because transparency of desires risked heartbreak and humiliation and a world crashing down upon a fragile dream.

In the classroom we drafted love notes that would get stuffed into lockers or unattended jacket pockets under it got back that the object of our desire was interested and we were left with the dilemma of revealing a trembling Cyrano whose hand was glorious but whose visible flaws might cause concern to the group of friends who guarded the purity of our Roxane.

The anxiety was a force that left us dangling and the waiting was eternity. Were we to be escorted through the gates of the castle through the double row of trumpeteers? Or were we to be pushed off a rising drawbridge into the cold darkness of the water and have insults hurled down from the castle walls?

I learned to swim simply as a method of survival and my arms grew strong from pulling myself up on the muddy, weed overgrown bank of the moat.

My young life was a constant repetition of rejection. Now I have it pretty good. I sit on a tall horse near the same moat wearing scarves of victory over evil forces. I've come to realize, now that I look at the long abandoned castle with it's drawbridge tumbled and half emerged in the mud bog that used to be my drowning pool, that it was all illusion. It was all my inexperience of love. The trumpeters have long gone and Roxane lives in a single wide trailer in the desert scrub brush and her "Christian" lives in a monthly rate motel by a long bypassed highway.

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