Friday, February 16, 2007

Pretend that...

Okay, call me naive, but when I was 21 and she was 18, I really did think that when I was out of university, we'd be married, if not sooner. There was comfort in the idea... one more aspect of my life more or less dropped into place. A wife, a home, the 2.4 kids, whatever. We used to talk about it, and at the time it seemed pretty weighty. And why not? We were both adults, if only just. Technically, it was within our grasps. All of it. All that remained was for us to commit to it, to declare it, and it would be so. Now it all seems like the games children play that begin with one of them saying, "Pretend that..."

She threw in the towel. It wasn't that we argued and fought; it was just that nothing sparked for her. There was a lot of rubbing stuff together, but that friction never burst into flame for her. She drifted. She was young; is it so surprising? Not to me, not now. Devastating then. And really, part of me never did move past it. Years went by, but somehow, I kept waiting for it to happen. For the promise to be fulfilled. Not her promise, or my promise... more like the promise the world had made to me growing up. You will find someone. The one. You will make a life together. This is how it is; it will be so. And so somehow I spent my life like a car in a driveway, waiting for the driver, waiting to get out on the road just off my shoulder. Growing older. Rusting. Balding tires, sag, obsolescence. How did it happen? When did I stop being young? Somewhere, sometime. Options ran out, opportunities evaporated. This is all there is, has been, ever will be. I wish I could go back and say "forget it."

"Pretend that..." That's what I'm left with. Memories, hopes, wishes and dreams that foundered on the rocks of a shore I was too cowardly to leave. I think back and imagine, conjure, yearn. After three billion years or so, the line ends here, with me.

2 comments:

Polt said...

dude, I understand. I'm hitting 40 this year, and even though I'm dating someone now....I don't know, I just wonder, what happened to my youth? When was my sense of adventure surpassed by my contentedness with security? Not that I'm really unhappy with where I am or who i am, but I wonder, is THIS all I'm going to be? *SIGH* sign of getting old, I suppose.

loneprimate said...

Yes... and of course, we are the first generation to ever discover this. :)