Thursday, August 13, 2009

North Countries

To the young, the death of youth seems a cause to celebrate. In the summer between graduation and whatever happens next, there's an endless festival of singing and dancing away adolescent inhibitions. A wait begins for the freedom of adulthood that will never come, ultimately replaced by the recognition that the death of youth is cause to mourn.

For one, there is another wait, but of this he is unaware. He remembers its beginning, a day secured in memory. Winds from northern California, turning into gusts off the Sierra Nevadas, swept through her hair. Blonde reflection in the lights of the biggest little city in the world seemed an overwhelming image in carnival mirror. A friend's cruel intention prevented further encounter, but subconscious wiser than he etched her face in thoughtful watercolor and safely kept it from fading in the sun.

Gusts continuing their course pushed him to a life as a soldier. North Carolina winds became faithful companion to young paratrooper and carried him safely to the ground on many occasions. Though she would often occur to him, immaturity spared him painful reflection and granted an absence of yearning. A curious safety net for an occupation in which thought is an enemy of balance and instinct, the tightrope. The circus of life had provided an unusual, merciful respite.

A gentle westerly blew him further East, as far as East as it could take him. And not once, but twice. In a realization of unhappiness, he hastily fought against the currents and returned to the place he thought was home, but found only enemy hearts and broken dreams. Ever loyal winds soon carried him back to the Atlantic, where a wait lasting over a decade abruptly came to an end. Blonde reflection in the lights of experienced eyes, nostalgia and euphoria in elegant jamboree.

Still, there are few happy endings in life, and thanks to the errant timing of hurricane, his wait will begin anew. This time he will not be spared the yearning, but it no longer matters. He knows now that he's spent his entire life waiting for something, and now that he finally knows that the object of his patience exists, he'll gladly wait once more. He's peripherally aware that he'll never see her again, but he'll wait. If necessary, all the way until his funeral.

For now, he will sing and dance away fearful inhibitions. And dream of the girl of north country fair.


  1. another great piece Jeff. love the way you play with words.

  2. girl from the north country? Dylan reference? You right very well.

  3. very your writing!

  4. The death of one's youth is a dreadful time...

  5. Awww . you and Otin are on a similar roll this week. Nicely written but sad. I lament the loss of youth all the time.

  6. VEry well written here. love the juxtaposition.

  7. Wait until his funeral? Bah! Go and tell her, that's what he should do!



  8. Darlin' you could make getting a flat tire sound lovely! You write so beautifully!