The one thing I say is something I hear most people say when they regard today’s youth. I laugh too because I think this is funny. However, out of anything that I am grateful for with regards to the wildness of my youth, I am most grateful for the fact that there is no proof or video surveillance that dates back from this time.
I agree that I was absolutely crazy. I lived through absolutely crazy times, which wasn’t all bad. I swear, in some cases, it is necessary to be as wild as you can, and to live, to scream, and to be as loud as possible. This is a necessary part of youth. Youth must always be youthful and in order to do that, youth must have the chance to live life.
We were not bubble-wrapped or as protected back then, which could be why kids today are so overly guarded. Maybe their parents viewed too much when they were kids and this is the means of reversion. What I mean is this is like a slingshot that was pulled back too far and now it snapped back too far in the opposite direction.
I began interacting with old memories from a sleep-away camp that I went to when I was a small boy. For the most part, my memory of this place has been reduced to tiny fragments and little clips that I can recall. I found a stack of old postcards that Mom saved. They used to make us write home once a week. Mom saved them, only, it’s a tough box to go through and for now; I suppose it’s enough to know I have them.
I have no pictures of me from this time. All I can say is I know that I was there. I know this was the place where I kissed my first girl. I can say that due to a little hole in the back wall of a shower, I was able to see my first naked girl. And the girls were older too. They were developed in a way that I had yet to even dream about. However, and in total honesty, this was the day that I understood why fights were started and wars were fought for the hand of a girl’s love.
I lost a lot of pictures from my youth. Then again, I never took very many. We never thought much about selfies or anything like this. I’m sure there are pictures out there, somewhere, but they were lost over the years. I’m sure there are others that say the same thing
Maybe this was due to all the moves throughout my life. Maybe some of the photographs were tossed out in old boxes. Who knows?
My time was before the age of technology. Mine was the time when being inside was a punishment. Being outside and around the town was everything. The ideas of the crowd and the different stations of popularity were as gospel as the stations of the cross.
Everything was about the time and the rush and the adrenaline. And no, there is no photographic proof or video evidence. And I am sure I am not the only one that is grateful for this.
Everything we did as kids was based on interaction. Everything was interactive. We talked. We went places. We met in playgrounds and then as we grew older, we met in empty parking lots and alleys, or in empty fields, parks and park benches. We met behind stores in the neighborhood. In fairness, I must have walked across my town a thousand times over.
I passed out in the field behind my old junior high school on more than one occasion. I did an overnight with a bunch of friends and together, we broke the dawn after a night with Lucy in the skies — and for those that do not understand the connection with Lucy, she was a song by The Beatles.
Lucy in the skies with diamonds was an innuendo; Lucy was an intimation or an insinuation or better yet, she was a hint about the psychedelic effects of LSD.
I walked home during the morning frost with a set of headphones on my ears. The sky was in the middle of changing colors as dawn crept in. I had headphones over my ears that had wires down to a thing we called a Walkman, in which I had a cassette tape and the song I connect with this memory is by none other than Tuesday’s Gone by Lynyrd Skynyrd.
I remember the sensation of the cool morning wind gusting across my face. My eyes were red and bloodshot as ever from the chemical reactions and my pupils were still huge like black pools that overtook the brown.I lived this. And no, was never very innocent but at least I lived.
At least I lived enough to go outside. At least I went places and did things. At least when I look back, I do not regard my youth as wasted away on the means of technology.
I recently mentioned the way I see these kids and the way they live. I see the direction of their attention and their distance from imagination.
I see this and wonder about their zest to live or create. Do they know what it feels like to go out on a Friday night and have this mean absolutely everything?
When it comes to the kids of today, where is their ability to wonder or dream without a smart device to navigate them from here to there?
Do they know what it means to go out without any plans, other than to meet up with everyone and go absolutely crazy?
Where is their substance? What will be the thread of their memory which will take them back to the days of their youth?
Will it be a string of selfies? Will it be pictures of girls making duck faces with their lips puffed out to appear more desirable?
Although I might not have pictures from my youth and although memories have faded due to the obscurity and the distant vagueness of age — the one thing I know (and that I really know) is that I can say that I have the viscera of memory.
Viscera is the heart, the blood and guts, and the inner workings and the organs, which keep my memories alive. This is the heart and soul of my journey.
There is something so raw and amazing about youth. I swear, I don’t think they know what they’re missing. The kids of today, I mean.
I don’t think they understand the viscera of memory. I don’t think they know what it means to be out until the absolute verge of their curfew, afraid to be late, but yet, the times were too good to be home on time. And sure, there was hell to pay sometimes, but hell, when you’re a kid then you’re a kid and all you want to do is be as wild and as crazy as humanly possible.
Someday age will find these kids and on that day, these kids will look back and wish their head wasn’t kept in their phone. I truly believe this.
They’re gonna wish they had the viscera of memory. They’re going to wish they did things and interacted with each other more.
Or, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe the fact that they don’t know what they’re missing means they’ll never know. And this is sad. This means kids today will never know what it feels like to walk home with someone they crave and hold their hand with a romantic interest.
See, me. . .
I don’t have this problem. Of course, I admit to my ups and downs. I admit to the damage that came from some of my deeds but at least I have the heart and soul of memory. I have all the dimensions and all the depth and more to the point, if and when I want to look back, all I have to do is close my eyes — I can take a deep breath through my nose and then ahhhh . . .The memory is right there. I can almost smell it.
I imagine the smell of honeysuckles, which is a smell that I associate with the heart of spring. And smells like this are what signal the ideas of summer and enables the trigger of my memory.
All I have to do is close my eyes. No. I don’t have too many pictures. But I do have the viscera of memory. This comes in handy when I look back or think about the days of my youth — and then I smile as I think to myself and say “Yeah. It’s probably a good thing that there are no pictures.”
I don’t see too many kids outside these days. Then again, hardly anyone goes outside now that there’s a pandemic around.
However, I did notice a young couple walking down the street together. He was maybe about 14 or 15 and my guess is she was about the same age.
I could see the look in his face. He liked her. He was hoping she liked him. I like to think this is the case. I like to think he was walking her home. Neither of them had cell phones in their hands. This will be the viscera of their memory. At least, I hope so.