“When I was fifteen, I wanted to be a man of few words, to be small and muscular with fine bones, to play slide guitar like Elmor James. I wanted to be fearless. I am thirty seven. The page is white and cool to the touch. My hands smell of lemons. I still cling to the impossible wishes. There is still time.”
August In My Father’s House.
A blog-friend (how seamlessly new terminology creeps into our vocabulary) wrote a poem yesterday about the dreams of a young man being revisited by his much older self. It was profoundly beautiful, and poignant without a shred of self-indulgent sentimentality. Reading it made me wonder about my own young aspirations and why some of them simply faded away over the years; became lost in the everyday business of living.
I can remember, at thirteen, having the giddy vision of myself painting in a garret in Paris. Oh, I did end up going to art school; but, upon graduation I took a job in an advertising agency and that was that. I needed a suitable wardrobe and car to get to work and, eventually, a little flat and sundry electrical appliances to amuse myself while I spent weekends at home. I couldn’t afford to go out: I had to pay the hire purchase accounts for all the things I was buying.
The years morphed; marriage, divorce, marriage, eventually a child. Mortgages, gardens, holidays, anniversaries, dogs and cats and mothers-in-law. Dutiful living, responsible decisions.
A good child.
A sensible girl.
A middle aged woman in suburbia, wondering; what if?