There's that moment when you're just transported back, back to the days when your only concern was playing in the snow, and having a good time with your friends. Back to the days when you really didn't worry about school, work, paying for college, trying to find the right girl. When you didn't notice the relief in everyone else when the weekend came around; to you, all days were the weekend, there were no distinctions. You didn't have any of the vices that you have now, in your current life, drinking, partying, smoking, doing drugs; you were a kid, concerned only with having fun and not getting hurt. You never really noticed the wrinkles around the eyes of your parents, or the deep bags; you just thought that they were getting old; you never realized that they had to deal with a world with which you could not fathom even if they were to present it to you in small little bites, like the way they cut the crusts off your sandwich.
You still thought that you were invincible back then, those golden days of childhood. Sure, now and then you got hurt, and if you were unlucky, one of your grandparents died; in the end, you once again just attributed the latter to getting old, and never once thought that sometimes, life just really isn't fair.
Back then, you never felt the omnipresent crush of the world around you, a feeling that if you made the mistake of slipping up, you'd fall beneath the masses and get trampled as they sped past, trying to collect those things that the rest of society had deemed cool and important, a new car, a new house, that set of dishes that you got at your wedding and attached a great deal of emotion to, that washboard set of abs that the actress in the commercial convinced you that you needed to get the babes.
There was no such thing as being alone, feeling that no one understood you; as a kid, you went everywhere surrounded by people, and only found yourself alone in the dark hours of the night, or when you were sent to your room to be punished for a while- how I look back on that and wish my parents used that kind of punishment. You never had that feeling of emptiness, when your friends left to go somewhere without you, when only the odd text message sent along indicated that everyone was off to have boatloads of fun at some party; your parents insured that your quota for playdates was complete for the week, you had fun with little bobby, johnny, and sally; next week your mom planned on you meeting up with another few kids, while she chatted with the mom about the most inane bull s**t in the world that in the end of the day wasn't worth a f**k.
When you were a kid, you never wandered into the woods by yourself, found a log to sit down on, and stopped to wonder when it all began to change. Was it the transition to middle school? When you began to ride the bus with all the older kids, and the talk changed from you and your friends joking about cooties, to the older kids in the back spinning tales of mischief, serious s**t, doing illegal things, that got your attention and held it for the few precious moments you felt privileged to ride with them, cool kids they were. You never looked back in those days, you never realized what you had, you were full speed ahead to catch up on all the stuff that you'd been missing out on.
Or maybe it was that first day of highschool, when you looked upon the upperclassmen as gods, you, a puny little freshman swimming in a school of sharks. You took their condescending looks, and passed them in turn to those younger than you; you never realized that you were turning into one of them, even though that was what you thought you wanted at the time.
You never held that gun in your hand, its refreshing hint of steel tucked away in the handle cooling your hand, heavy it was to behold, and even heavier to think about. You never thought about what would happen if you just put it up to your pulsing temple, a union of man and machine, for a brief second before pulling the trigger; never tried to rationalize to yourself that it would solve a hell a lot of problems- only to pull it away, and place it carefully back in its box, and tell yourself that pulling a stunt like that would create too many problems for everyone else, and god knows at that point in your life you didn't want to feel responsible for anything.
As a kid, you never contemplated being crazy. You never thought that maybe, just maybe, you were a crazy person living in a world of sanity; you never offered this up as an explanation as to why things weren't going your way; to a kid, the only crazy person is the woman who hands out pretzels instead of hershey bars on Halloween, and leaves her Christmas decorations up year round.
As a kid, you just didn't worry about stuff like that. You worried about the snow, and utilizing its full potential before it all melted in the spring- by the first snowfall, you already had plans to make forts using your recycling bins as molds, you were planning on making the neighborhood's largest snowman, never realizing that's what every other kid wanted to do as well, and if they all had their own forts in their own yards it would be kind of hard to have the epic snowball fight that you dreamed about.
For a second there, I felt like that kid again, that innocent kid who didn't have a care in the world, as I stooped to the ground to form that perfectly irregular sphere of snow to throw at the closest person when my captain gave the command to charge.
I know that kid will always be there, ready to pop out when the moment is right. I know he'll look over at me with that gap toothed grin, and wait for me to smile back, unable to comprehend any apprehensions about the soon to ensue battle I might have. I know he doesn't worry about any chunks of ice that might come flying through the air, ready to knock out my teeth and eyes. I'll stand there for a minute, thinking about all that could go wrong, but with my resolve weakening, and after a moment, I'll make the decision to join him, and we'll merge into one, one carefree kid again who doesn't care about what might happen, but only how awesome the next few hours are going to be.