I took a trip back in time today and made myself sad. It wasn’t intentional, this time, it just worked out that way. I traveled down roads I have not been on in years. I thought of faces I have not seen in decades. I recalled regrets that I thought were long dead.
The roads were the same as I remembered, straight, rough, a curve here or there. They traveled to places I called my own in my youth. There were more houses now then when I was young. As I drove, my mind wandered back through time. Passing one house, I saw myself standing in the yard, guitar slung way too low, trying to keep up with the real musicians, hoping she didn’t think me foolish. I can’t remember her name now. Further down the road Jennifer’s house passed by and I was instantly transported back to the high school library. We sat on the floor between rows of books, talking of what would come next in our lives. She smiled at me and gave me a memory that has lasted three decades. I wonder if she is as beautiful now as she was then. I wonder if she is still alive.
Next I turned towards the south and thought of all the times I had in that direction. I remember the hills and the woods and the stream and the girl I didn’t give a chance to. I remember the waterbed and how I wish I could go back and make things right. Though I would never have admitted it to anyone, I was afraid that I could never live up to her expectations. I was right. Thirty years later I had a second chance. I’m still a coward.
I thought of the games we played and the friends I had. In all that time I know the fate of only two of them. One married into the family. I hear of him only through the grapevine and speak to him only at funerals. The other one is a regret that will last another lifetime.
The trip lasted a little over an hour. It brought back many memories and many thoughts. I cried tears that had dried up years ago. It is a trip I don’t wish to take again anytime soon.
(this is pretty much how I spend my weekends, anyone got any better ideas?)