Youth cannot be explained in hindsight without mentioning that awareness that I believe may be universal that one is but a recently blind little pup in the litter struggling with others of its own vintage awkwardly finding making its way toward illumination. It is a time when the world about one may seem in tight focus to the youthful observer but the governing realities affecting one’s actions say otherwise. Now metaphorically at the other end of the mountain it seems impossible to palpably summon my own previous experience of that persistent state innocent naivete. But in my own unscheduled roster of dreams at least be sent upon a journey to witness it once again.
The small campus might have been mistaken for a meandering strip mall, the classrooms and offices of its departments surrounding a small set of central malls upon which were sporadically placed the conveniences of picnic benches and other sorts of seating for recreation or even study. Small groups of girls and boys wandered this offbeat quad not overly entranced with an immediate need for discipline in study so much as filling the time in-between with hijinks and made up adventures. Though a mute stone faced seriousness was projected towards approaching interlopers a more gregarious form of irrepressible laughter repeatedly broke out among them. The sanity of logic powering these quips was of course completely lost upon anyone that was not a member of these small cliques. Maybe that was a prerequisite function that ensured the bubble around each group remained undamaged by an inadvertent poke from the digit of its rival? The personal identities of each small membership with an implicit protocol and pecking order. Those well-formed ego bound young females struck by constant braggadocio and possessed of Northern European features being in the lead and a veneer of docile somewhat awkward quiet corresponding males deemed sufficiently cute allowed to accompany them to serve their needs. The mix of same varying of course initially as freshmen depending on the vagaries of the rosters of classroom membership for that semester.
My own ignominious avatar found itself attached as a unacknowledged official observer in the latter category who found themselves in tow to a pair of young bleach blonde willowy young maidens galavanting obliviously about this scene in the standard manner of feigning unawareness in the best manner to be universally seen. To say that they though much of themselves would be a vast understatement. As if to supply some extra added measure of veracity to this notion both wore designer sweatshirts of varied color combinations with the legend in stark Helvetica text, “I Don’t Care About You!” Their accompanying diffidence occasionally had them threatening to accidentally bump into just who they had in mind to ignore. This over obvious shadow play was the source of many urn lady-like raucous chortles and guffaws that I as their tacit companion was tasked with pretending to not understand but scorned for laughing in consort with. The two playing innocuous with their own form of diabolical unawareness whenever on a mission to find mischief.
I found myself full of helium bouncing balloon-like behind them in a school store that also served as a place where photographic equipment could be taken on loan. My assumption was that on some points of order this terrible two observed the commercial niceties of property and public ownership. The expensive single lens reflex digital camera and lens that was handed off to me in the store I assumed was a mere convenience for them to purvey other items. A further convenience seemed reasonable when both hands loaded with this I was pulled by the sleeve outside to the picnic bench immediately outside the store. There the small band sat while the two of teem with impish grins rattled on about the look on some stranger’s face and the blatant stupidity of another. I thought I knew enough to pay such talk no mind. The reality that I was soon made aware of was that the items I had been handed were purloined from the main glass counter and I was now in unauthorized possession of. My immediate reaction was one of guilty shock at being unexpectedly apprehended with the swag by official parties still unknown but imminently in pursuit a second or two behind my trail. The affront of my facile guilelessness in not estimating the boundless capacity for mischief of these two hellions my greatest crime.
Why young men feel compelled to continuously drift in an ever ebullient river of unsatisfied hopefulness for the ongoing fantasy of satiating their animal attraction now escapes me? This is an unspoken thread that each side of possible attraction reads as an opportunity for some form of ego boosting or even innocent appropriation of that thing called love. Too many for their own selfish reasons finding strategies to keep its seekers just out of arms reach the source of their power and a confirmation to themselves of its existence. These are the sirens rocks that so many males voyaging out into the fatal waters of romance find them selves at one point or another running aground upon. So many pretty movies fantasies of the perfect mate found and the unsullied innocence of happily after looked back upon as fatally denied. The, if one had just made this one ‘yin’ instead of ‘yang’, type of analysis that in itself would never account for the errant behavior implicit in the frolics of impetuous youth. How sad and wonderful to occasionally see one’s children or those of others reenacting these foibles? Perhaps a little selfish on one’s own part to have another fleeting instant to relive those all too foolish mistakes once again.