Nuances of youth cause me to think, “Oh well, I had my turn.” It was a long turn but not too long. I don’t want to go back, I made the turn count.
Every once in a while as I lie abed drifting off at the end of the day, I remember the early years of our marriage. This is the only romance that I have been fully present in, without depending on my imagination to satisfy an emotional longing. I remember those years and I am acutely aware, with a pang in my heart, that it’s over and I can’t go back to visit the youthful us. We had our turn.
Years in the rearview mirror seem farther away than they used to. I saw a photograph of my sister’s boy in Germany. He had a look about him that sent me reeling in yearning for my own misspent youth, no obligations with the conviction that everything would turn out alright. Back then, I knew that my life was spread out far and wide before me. Just as I know now that it’s rolling up like a red carpet behind me.
I don’t look as bad as I deserve to. A person doesn’t usually have an extended misspent youth living a healthy lifestyle. I smoked, I drank and I did drugs, sometimes simultaneously. Oh, and there was illicit sex too. The illicit sex wasn’t nearly as satisfying as the smoking and drinking. Sex without emotional connection is only a way to pass the time until something interesting happens. Passion is a product of possession.
I don’t believe in anything larger than me, no god no afterlife. At night as I drift off sometimes my heart tremors in a shudder of panic at the eventuality life will be extinguished. I will cease to exist. I remember that I have had a really good turn and the panic subsides.