A street of houses sits facing an open field with numerous trees. The trees are dense with leaves, and the branches and twigs stretch far out creating a canopy affect. To catch a glimpse through a front window is to sense a private forest. Two tween girls attending the same school happen to be neighbors on this street. They’re more acquaintances than friends. Their social circles are different, and one is particularly snobby with her book reading addiction and proper use of grammar. She’s known to obnoxiously correct most in their class. ‘Don’t finish a sentence with a preposition,’ is a fav. We see how that turned out. How some pronounced worry and lawyer was particularly vexing. Maybe a product of proximity, and the shared status of only-children to single mothers, but they began to hang out after school; share in homework and cartoon watching. As this became more habitual, their differences became less noticeable. They became exceptionally close, going so far as to choose the guys they would date based on the two guys being best friends themselves, so all four could hang out together.
When the weather was right on the weekends, and their free time was not dictated by extracurricular activities, the field became their stomping grounds. No one was ever seen to walk around it or through it, even dog walkers. The city apparently mowed, though. Staking claim to a particular tree elicited a sense of freedom. The shorter trunks with thicker limbs made for perfect climbing. The close-knit branches provided flat space to balance their own languid limbs and any number of items they climbed up with. A slow, strategic approach was taken to ascend with backpacks of provisions: sealed mugs of tea and writing materials. Something about the elevation got into their heads. Poetry in the clouds took shape. When all were in place, a quiet time of writing was shared. They’d take turns reading to one another. ~Enlightened sentences within reason ~ Conformed by barricades of age ~ Describing experiences in another season that had never taken place ~ As if to know of such things ~ As if to have been in love and survived the heartbreak ~
A lot of verbiage; a lot of garbage. Affairs of the heart at ages 13 or 15 are felt no less intensely, as they are relative to the experience of that age. We think we know so much when our world is so small. The paradox. It is because the world is so small and the hormones so high that everything is that much more dire and consequential. There’s very little else to compare it to.
Thought bubble: Why do we give so much agency to youth? Broadly speaking, they don’t know real responsibility, and certainly not how to balance money. When did society start seeing tweens and teens as embedded with so much wisdom? A firehose of more information via the iphone doesn’t equal correct information, much less knowledge. Peers perpetuate the groupthink, and social media silos provide the feedback loop keeping youth high on their own supply. The rallying cry is louder, not smarter. Life experience has not stretched beyond a neighborhood. Actual experience can be listed as a single journal entry, often. Youth may be the future, but they shouldn’t dictate the present nor policy; or Earth-saving proscriptions. I do acknowledge a more expansive-mind-paradigm shift occurring. I just don’t see any Jeanne d’Arc in our present age.
The vacant plot of land became too valuable to leave be. It happened soon after we moved off the street, moved up in age, onto our separate things. A franchise cafeteria leveled the field and put-up shop. This catered well to the older community in this neighborhood. A third of the field is now the parking lot. That’s city life. A density of trees is switched out for a density in occupancy, vertical building, and concrete. Places change. People grow up.
This has been a rhythmic post of scattered rhyme.