It’s a gorgeous fall day, smoke-free, with a cloudless blue sky. Our sun is bright, but the wind presents a chilly edge as it toys with leaves, tearing them from trees and sprinkling them over the streets, sidewalks, and yards. News, worry, and politics are aside. Memories of days like these are pulled from my youth in Pittsburgh.
It’s the weekend. At last! Freed for a day from the teachers’ drones, studying, quizzes, and tests, we’re out in the streets, chatting about girls, music, sports and television, bullshitting each other, John mocking Rick, complaining about school, wandering around, hanging around, playing football in the street.
Halloween is coming up. What are you going to wear?
Thanksgiving is next month. Thanksgiving, that amazing feast – stuffing, turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy – and pies! Pumpkin! Apple! Or maybe cherry. With whipped cream. Family will be over. It will be warm, noisy, and crowded. But, wow, the food.
And then there’s Christmas. What do you want for Christmas?
The simplicity makes me sigh. That was our future. But we would tell each other –
I can’t wait until I’m older.
I can’t wait until I have my license.
I can’t wait until I have my own money.
I can’t wait until I’m done with school.
I can’t wait until I’m out of here.