Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Bench

It's the end of summer, the humidity making its last attempts to cling to young skin. And it does, but it isn't the only cause for the slight sheen on my tender, barely teenaged face. It is something more, something simple and complex all in one. My first real kiss. By this I mean my first heart racing, face flushing, knee jellying foray into adulthood kiss. The kind that takes your breath as it happens, and again and again as you recall it sitting in the stuffy confines of your high school classroom days later. And weeks later. Oddly enough, recalling it years later can still cause a slight flush to rise to my cheeks.

There is a bench that sits on a sidewalk. To look at it, you would see only wood and metal in the shape of a structure conducive to sitting. I, however, see the possibility of love blooming on the cheeks of a younger version of myself. I see the hormonal and love crazed boy that made me giddy and wild with teenage longings. I see his bleached out denim jacket and the blue eyes that would burn a hole into my soul. Isn't it funny, to see all of that from looking at a bench? Those pieces of wood trapped a part of me within them - a part of me that time has forgotten.  I see these vivid images as if they are real. I feel the perspiration on my skin, smell the wanting of this boy, taste the sweet cotton candy as our tongues meet. It's a pocket of memory, that until I saw that bench again, even I had forgotten.

The end of summer, the annual county fair. It is a place of wonder, and the escapes of parental confines. The air still hints of summer, but it encourages fall. And the smells of cotton candy, and lemon shakes, and popcorn waft lazily through the air. And there is also the thick sense of love caught in the tree branches and in the spokes of the big Ferris wheel, churning around couples in a whir of lights. Somewhere, near all of these smells, and  voices of the hawkers of 80's hair bands locker sized mirrors, the screams of delighted children and the root-a-toot toot of the calliopes; two young people will seal their fates by sitting on a bench and making their own history.

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