Saturday, November 14, 2009

Saturdays Gone

Knobby tires hiss against the asphalt, spraying rooster trails of leftover rain in the wake of our bikes. Tucking, we squeeze every bit of momentum out of the hills until gravity captures us and the burn returns as our legs pump like pistons to crest the next.

Its Saturday, and we are off to see a body.

Sliding to a halt atop the bridge that spans the river, we peer into the swollen brown murk that churns below. Damp ocher leaves slip through our fingers, pinwheeling into the current, becoming battle ships in an invading armada.

Thwip. Thwip. Thwip.

Rocks and pebbles crack the surface around the ships making their way down the watercourse. Yipping with each hit, high fives and smiles make their way around the group. Frankie leans over the concrete rail, hanging precariously as he gathers spit for the perfect release. It seems to hang in the air forever, before slipping quietly into the flow.

A little piece of him, making its way to the ocean.

We stand and watch the little white bubbles until they are out of sight, then one at a time we find our bikes to continue the quest, into the bright blue sky.

Forever was a whole lot easier to understand back then, before life became so temporary. Frankie disappeared not too many years later, after he released a little too much of himself, becoming a daddy. Jimmy went off to war, now throwing more than rocks, we pray for him each night. John's no longer married, now living with his parents.

We never find our body, only bleached white deer bones, cast off in the ditch by the side of the road. Pedaling faster as we roll by darkened houses, cars in the drive, no life in sight, wondering what happened to all the people.

Its Saturday, and we have the rest of our lives in front of us.

39 comments:

TechnoBabe said...

Wow, those were the days, huh. Everything was exaggerated importance and yet nothing was important. Try this and try that and keep finding new things to try. Great writing.

Daniel said...

Man, this one kind of hit me in the gut. It kind of churned up memories of me and my cache of friends many years ago. My main buddy drank himself to death a few years after I left for college. When we played, our imaginations filled the woods behind my house. Now, as I get older, middle aged, those times of youth are so far in the past, that they slowly slip away. Forever and a day now becomes moment to moment.

lakeviewer said...

You do take us away, to far places we left behind a long time ago.

This was a memory slide, scary and thrilling, all at once, to discover what we left behind so long ago.

Love everything about this: fresh and immediate, subtle and complex.

AngelMay said...

Funny how everything is bigger than life to kids. And they think they will live forever. In a way that's kind of how childhood should be. Enjoyed it, Brian.

Green-Eyed Momster said...

What did happen to all the people? I wonder about some of them..
Happy Saturday and Sunday to you and yours. Smiles.

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Truly 'the wonder years' with so much life and adventure stretching ahead . . . and then time catches up . . . and takes its toll.

A great read, as always Brian.

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Brian:)

Each scene you described is so vivid and clear, I can see myself standing with you when all this action took place.

Just a few days back I was thinking how fleeting life is, how temporary things are, how life throws its joys and sorrows, how everything is passing, how everything thing looks like a dream. Nothing lasts forever, nothing is permanent. Even we ourselves are moving from place to place, experience to experience, scenes to scenes like robots. We just can't hold on to anything for ever. Life is to live the moment, enjoy the present, savor and relish every moment because everything moves and we have no control.

So many people with whom I lived and grew up are no more in this world. They are only memories and picture post cards in my mind. We did so many things together and they are no more. They are all a dream. They look very unreal to me. They are just actors who did their part and vanished after the scene.

Your writing is awesome, alluring and thoughts are absolutely marvelous.

Have a nice Sunday Brian:)
Joseph

otin said...

Between me and you, I think that we should just get together and watch "Stand By Me" and "Sandlot" and toast some fallen friends!

Brian Miller said...

otin, when and where? smiles.

Ace said...

The bike ride seems like yesterday. I used to have a list of things I "wanted to be" and "accomplish" when I grew up. Then, I finished the list and made a new one when I had kids. I love to try to grab life to slow it down and soak in my family before they grow up and leave.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Makes me wonder what became of all my friends. Way back then when we would promise to be best friends forever. You created that same feeling of the innocent young girl I once was. Back when I could ride my bike with little effort and nevr had joint pains!

♥ Boomer ♥ said...

I don't remember what my friends went searching for on our bikes, but it wasn't a body. I think it was freedom.

Another brilliant piece of writing, Brian. Thwip. ♥

blueviolet said...

Kids and their adventures...I don't know if our kids have those same opportunities to explore.

Alicia @ boylerpf said...

The good ol' days when we had nary a care in the world but everything was at our fingertips. Just the sheer joy of spitting in the wind rocked out world. Then, responsibility comes and we no longer feel we have that control..so odd, isn't it?
I always get transported reading your stories...

Prayer Girl said...

Your profile doesn't say so, but I think you must have a writing career. I loved this post.

Thanks,
PG

Lorraine said...

You are so graphic in your outstanding writing and I'm always left with one question: truth or fiction? maybe a little bit of both :)

Valerie said...

Those were the days, my friend, we thought would never end.
Explore the past and now the future and thank God for both.
Nice one, Brian.

♥ Braja said...

Who needs TV? :)

Dot-Com said...

Kids always see thngs in such a different perspective, maybe because they are so small. Funny how memories never seem to quite reflect that though!

Alix said...

You almost make me want to be a boy. But.... naaah.

Protege said...

A true recollection of childhood dreams and memories...
I think someone said it already, but this does have a "Stand by me" feel to it.
You writing is as always absolutely superb. I am not sure how you can do this so well every day.
:)

Wings said...

Life was so different then!

Candie Bracci said...

Just WOW!
You're an amazing writer and you know how to suprise anytime.You can turn anything and any subjects into gold,yeah gold.Have a nice sunday.

Betsy said...

We moved a lot when I was young, so I don't have any of those friends from my youth. Makes me wonder how their lives turned out.

Loved those days of bike riding and playing outside until dark!

buffalodick said...

I thought I was reading "Stand By Me" by Steven King!

Nessa said...

It's always interesting to remember how we saw life years ago and compare it to where and how we are now.

Sunny Sunday #6 - Color Me Sunny

Maggie May said...

Glad you didn't find a body!

I used to search for treasure. Never found any but went to some pretty dangerous places when I was a kid & in the days when it was the norm to go without adult supervision!
Great writing, as always.

Nuts in May

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Somehow this reminds me of "Lean on Me". Wait, that's not the title, is it? Do you know what I'm talking about?

Yes, that is certainly the magic time of childhood.

That it could stay that way.

Baino said...

I'm 12,000 miles from my childhood friends and have no idea where or how they are. In a way that's a good thing, they remain forever young.

Ronda Laveen said...

Back then, a day was an eternity. I love Stand by Me and Sand Lot. Can I come?

Madame DeFarge said...

Reminds me of all the stuff we used do to when I was young, all the things I thought we'd discovered, all the adventures. It was so much fun and yet I suspect nothing every actually happened. Great post.

ReformingGeek said...

Nice writing Brian!

There's definitely memories of out on a bike as a carefree child, although I tended to be a bit of a worry wart. Mom was a bit over-protective.

It is sad to think of some of the kids I played with did not make it out of high school without life slapping them in the face. There were a few suicides, teenage pregnancies, and drop-outs. Wow.

The Retired One said...

And me?
After scrubbing off hours of playing badmitton over the clotheslines, we'd crawl into our sleeping bags for a giggly night of sleepovers....
Loved glimpsing into your childhood with you, Brian.
That piece was wonderful.

smiles4u said...

Very nice Brian.

staceyjwarner said...

we use to turn our bikes upside and make "ice cream"...we were strange.

much love

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

Loved this look back. Especially this sentence:

"Forever was a whole lot easier to understand back then, before life became so temporary."

So true! I often tell hubby it would be so nice to be exactly where we are right now, but for us to be 20 years younger so we'd have the additional 20 years to enjoy where we're at right now and more to come. ;)

Brian Miller said...

stacey...i know exactly what you are talking about.

and stacy...i know just how you feel...

got a little melacholy after the heaviness of that last post...

Joanna Jenkins said...

Those were the days. Like they say, "youth is wasted on the young".
jj

Pat said...

You described those carefree childhood days so well - going out on an adventure. How sad that we have to grow up and face reality! LOL!