I wonder if there is a quotation somewhere, one not revealed to my constant digging, that asks, as we pass that middle of life, if we spend near as much time reminiscing as we do in the here-and-now. Sometimes I get lodged in that past space, cozy and hateful of disturbance, moments of the fil-um of my life rendered with such stunning clarity that I simply want to stay. If only I knew the proper handshake or combination of words and gestures, I might actually step behind the curtain of my fading memory to reveal all.
In the mean time, I collect snippets and ferret them away for safe keeping, like these spent with my brothers, two and four years my junior.
Running wild and barefoot and fast, fast, faster, down hills on a bicycle without brakes.
Splashing in cheap plastic wading pools before dashing through icy cold sprinklers in Underoos.
Turning out elaborate Matchbox car cities of dirt, rocks, leaves, and soaring imaginations.
Frittering away the time in the creek. Fashioning shoe laces into crawdad lures.
Playing baseball, swinging, spinning, and spending hours as badminton-playing tennis idols on the back lawn:Ivan Lendl, Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe.
Eating popcorn in a circle of sleeping bags on the same lawn, eyes darting in a mad satellite search.
Dawdling on the path from school, coats fastened into fantastic flapping capes.
Diving grimy hands into the cookie jar to rise triumphant and crumb laden before demanding, “What’s for snack?”
Huddling around games of Monopoly, Clue, and Hungry Hungry Hippos.
Conjuring games of “lava” and “wu-tang.”
Fighting for our favorite cushion on the couch.
Tromping and digging caves in the snow.
And laughing, so very much, at everything and nothing at all…