It was supposed to be an extension of school, one year away from home pursuing further studies, blah blah blah.
. We were eighteen, restless, bored
, doing it because it was the thing to do, the way to go, what everyone did
and what our parents decided we needed. Hell
, I guess a year away from home never hurt anyone
, it wasn’t like we were going to go to college anyway, and for me at least, it was a much needed break
from being parented.
We’d cut class and leave early, running home through the park, stopping to throw fistfuls of leaves at each other, autumn crunching in damp air and tousled hair. That was October, we were finding places to hide in the city, trees to climb, rainy days for apples and books and fogged-up windows, grey days for tramping home at night past lit pumpkins and smoky yards.
It passed, there was a November somewhere, December, we'd gotten used to the damp and chill and then came the white and the ice storm, we woke up to a world of glass and black lines, we bundled up and tramped through the streets, assuming school was canceled, squinting and blinded by sun through cylindrical casings, crunching ice underfoot, stepping around fallen wires. Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away, you'd think the inner dome of heaven had fallen.
We made snow angels in the front yard, threw snowballs, rolled mountainous, ugly snowmen. You’re old enough to have gotten over that, but we weren’t, we weren’t there to study and not there for the friends, we’d met each other already. We had the whole city to discover, and the weather, and we made love to both with the casual silliness of teenaged girls.
And a Spring, with gentle unfurling and sly days of sunshine and still frigid air, new greens. We stripped our clothes eagerly, opening windows and cleaning house top to bottom, rollerblading down at the Old Port, feeding birds the leftovers from our packed lunches, sparrows eating from our hands, faint cheeping and babies everywhere in strollers, a world turned out en masse to greet fresh mornings with us. We stalked the city at night, stayed up on the porch counting stars.
Before we knew it, the year was over and report cards mailed home, a July creeping up, the Real Worldtm hiding behind sun and jobs to be found, lives to be planned. Our barely passing grades never posed as anything but. We didn’t think to try and hide the way we’d reveled in freedom, and seasons. T’was a pity time had to move, it hadn’t bothered us all year, the way the weather had changed, but it was summer, and over, and we wished we could stay, just us and the weather -- changing, but never demanding anything from us but the way we were.