Saturday, April 26, 2014

16 Forever and Different in Some Way.

I meant to write this about a month ago.
   And the reason I havent done it until now is because I'm not really quite sure how to say exactly what I want to say. I'm pretty sure that it's because my writing isnt fully developed yet. I'm only sixteen and I have alot more I need to experience and until then I guess my writing wont do much justice to the things I see, but there's a part of me that says that its also because there are some things that cant be justified by words.
   It was raining really hard one Sunday, maybe a few months ago. My kid sister, Angie, she's only nine, had a soccer game only it wasnt raining when it started, in fact, it was sunny as hell outside. But it started to rain really hard and it was getting real windy too. All of a sudden it started to get really cold only the thing is, they didnt stop the game. The game kept going and all the kids kept playing and I was shivering and everything but none of the kids were. And especially not Angie.
   There are certian images that get stuck in your mind forever. I remember hearing Billie Joe Armstrong say once that there is one moment in specific, every seven years, that you remember extremely clearly for the rest of your life. I remember Angie, running off the field as the coach was rotating players and my dad ran to warm her up, and that's when everyone started leaving. All the kids left and the coach even left for chrissake but my dad and Angie were still there on the field, in the rain.
   My dad does this thing, when it's really cold, where he jumps up and down to keep warm. It looks pretty funny most of the time, if you really want to know, but it didnt look like that this time. It felt like it was almost freezing and Angie had no coat so my dad gave her his. It was this big pilot's jacket that my dad had since he arrived in Brooklyn from Communist Romania and it went all the way below Angie's knees when she put it on and what they did was, my dad took her hands and they started jumping together. Up and down. In the rain.
   It was really coming down and it got worse as time went on. And by that time, everyone had left. I mean, everyone. We were the only ones there and Angie and my dad just kept on jumping up and down, in the rain.
   You know, it really scares me to think that one day I'll be on my own without my parents. Not that I'll be without them but that as I get older, it will start to become really clear to them that I'm not who they want me to be. I'm not everything they expected their first generation American girl to be. I know it'll be soon when my parents realize that everything I told them I wanted to do, and everything I told them that I am, is actually true. I dont quite know what will happen after that, but it scares me half to death to think about it. And most of all, I know that it's not too far away.
   But in that moment, none of it mattered. It was so cold that I didnt feel like moving and I didnt even feel like taking my hands out of my pockets. So I just stood there. And I watched. It didnt matter that one day I would grow up and my mother would speak to me in broken sentences and monosyllabic dialouge and my father would frown upon the choices I made or wish to God that I woudnt have "wasted my life." None of that mattered because right then, in that moment, all I did was watch. I'm constantly feeling like everyone's watching me, to make sure I'm doing my best, I have to be an example for my sisters and as my father says, I have to be an example for the world. Only in that moment, no one was watching me.

I was the one watching.

I think right then, I saw one the most beautiful things I've ever seen in my life. I've seen famous paintings and I've seen weddings and diamonds and women with their hair tied up in a bandana with red lipstick and cheeks, but I never saw anything like what I saw then. Because I never saw anything, that made me forget what I feared the most. I never saw anything that made me wish I could be sixteen forever. And in that moment I felt like I could be sixteen forever. I felt like I would never have to tell my mother that what she's been hoping is a joke, is reality, and I would never know what it's like to talk and realize that no one was going to listen anymore. I felt like I could be sixteen forever.
   I knew that even though the next day, I would surely be different in some way, I would always wish that I could keep that moment forever. I knew that if I could wrap that moment up in plastic and keep it safe, that everytime I would open it up, it would be the same. Nobody would move. I know that my life is going to change. I try not to think about it but I know it will. But to have something like that in your mind forever, something that will never ever change, amidst the world of chaos ahead of you, is something that I dont quite know how to explain. It's something that I love immensely.

I know that twenty years from now, whether Im sitting at the foot of my bed, or at the bottom of a bridge, I'll be able to lay my head down, close my eyes, and Angie and my father will still be there, jumping up and down on the soccer field. It'll still be raining and Angie will still be wearing that same pilot's jacket and my hands will still be frozen inside my jacket pocket just the same as they were that day. Only I'll be different in some way. Certain things, they should just stay the way they are. You ought to be able to stick them in one of those big glass cases and just leave them alone. I know that's impossible, but it's too bad anyway.

I went to the Natural History Museum in Manhattan for maybe the fifth time, last month. Only before, I had never read The Catcher in the Rye. This time was different though, because it was my first time going after reading something that changed my life. And although my regards may be deficient, I've attempted to put into words everything that has ever aesthetically edified me about the concept of youth and aspiration. I will always be different in some way. I can't explain what I mean. And even if I could, I'm not sure I'd feel like it.