Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Rejoice in thy youth oh young one

Snow falls on the window pane as Denver is plunged into the first snow storm of what is predicted to be a bitch of a winter. And here I sit, watching the flakes cascade down in winter’s curtain, which just happens to fall smack dab in the middle of autumn. Winter draws nigh and the air cools as the seasons fade and memories trip on holiday splendor. Or so they say.

Bring on All Hallows Eve, the night before All Saints Day, Halloween. Let the chocolate and other candy treats flow like water, let the little ones revel in their youth, and let us adults recapture that tantalizing spirit of those of the next generation. Be a kid, if but for five fucking minutes. Do not put away all the trappings of childhood, and for sanity’s sake don’t let die the fires of youth.

It was once said that the greatest of all tragedies is lost youth. I’ll go this one better. An even greater tragedy is youth squandered or surrendered. What fools we adults are, what capricious and arbitrary beings we become. Childhood grants everyone the inability to be disingenuous. The ability and desire to deceive are mutualities only to those whose youthful spirit has been compromised.

Yes children can be and oft times are demonic, evil things that seemingly delight in inflicting misery upon the closest target. But this impulse is created by observing us adults. Put two five year olds in a room with nothing but a cardboard box and a sheet and they will construct a castle that rivals the legendary Versailles Palace. And they’ll do this with stunning, implausible ease. And we adults see nothing but a sepulcher of culture that once housed a major appliance.

Wait, for now the castle is a spaceship, a grand battle cruiser replete with laser canons and English crewmen that wander aimlessly punching bright green buttons. But never the red one, that button is reserved for the captain, whom at the tender age of five commands a legion of troops and can destroy worlds with the red button.

Now the box becomes a cave. Not just any cave mind you, but a cave that houses the most fearsome beast the world has ever seen. So there our diminutive hero stands, armed with a magical spear only he can see. He lunges forth as the box shudders, and lo, the beast is slain, impaled upon the righteous spear that only the young can wield.

Now the cave morphs into a pirate ship. Our hero now stands on deck with his eye patch, wooden leg, parrot, and hook. He now captains the most feared pirate vessel in the Caribbean. There, off in the distance the captain spies a mast through his telescope. His arch enemy approaches, the infamous Black Beard. The ships move toward one another as the canons sound off salvo after salvo. Black Beard’s ship is mortally wounded and the rapscallion goes down with his ship.

The box is altered to resemble an amphibious assault boat, the kind used on D-Day in World War II. The intrepid five year old is now a grizzled old veteran of battles too numerous to count. He’s saved dozens of lives and single-handedly fought back the Third Reich. The boat lands and the pint-sized Audie Murphy storms a machine gun nest by himself, suffering a dozen horrific wounds before finally subduing the enemy. He succumbs to his injuries and dies in a spastic, exaggerated pratfall.

There he laid, the spirit of youth encapsulated in a tiny body, the only being alive who can stand on the shoulders of giants, ride unicorns, joust with mounted dragons, and save the world from utter destruction, all in a day’s time.

Therein lay the tantalizing beauty of the young. Those little buggers are full of energy, emotion, and vibrant imagination. Perhaps that’s the secret to rediscovering our youth. Maybe we should imagine more, trip on boulevard of dreams, engage in flights of fancy, and hold tight to that which makes us feel young again.

I love writing, not because I’m any good but because it makes me feel alive and, dare I say, youthful. The unhindered exuberance of spewing shit out on my blog helps me recapture the youthful spirit long thought dead. For on this page I can be anybody, anywhere, anytime, anyplace. I can magically transport myself and a few readers back to a time when the adult travails of life seem insignificant. That is why I blog.

Tonight I bed down with my favorite cozy blanket, and sleep. To sleep, per chance to dream. Maybe I’ll have that one where I’m a kid again riding my bike down some suicidal incline. Maybe, just maybe.