Time Pulls

Dear J-

I’m riding my bike to the vanpool spot this morning, watching the few cars zip by, and pull past one stopped at an intersection.  In the dark, you can tell by sound which way they’ve turned — they went right and pulled up alongside; the passenger rolled down his window and calls out a cheery “Keeeeep on truckinggggggg!”  It’s a phrase I haven’t heard in years (and then, only from kids who were trying to flash back to the 60s and R.Crumb; yet the explanation comes in their wake, as the first air currents hit me, redolent of marijuana.

In the years before Facebook I suppose we either made a sesrious effort to keep in touch — my parents had an address book that rivaled some pocket dictionairies, complete with annotations, cross-outs, and addenda, constantly updated every Christmas card season — or we’d rely on the reunions.  Those are tricky; it’s been nearly twenty years since high school now and if the reunion was the first time I saw everyone since grad night, I’m sure I’d be in for a world of surprise.  Between these meetings, after all, there would only be the flat, static faces peering up at me from the yearbook; twenty years on we’ve already lived more than half our lives outside those confines and turned into something completely different.

We have retro for the sake of being retro; you can run your photographs through filters, nowadays, that give you the same effect as 1970s-era paper stored in vinyl albums:  slightly faded, mellow colors full of memories.  We can choose to celebrate the past in different ways, whether it be some stoned drive in the streets or flipping through old annuals.  Time pulls us past these things, though; would you trade a minute of now for another moment at seventeen?  Twenty one?

Mike

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