Kids Grow Up

Kids grow up and they lose feelings in parts of their soul that I don’t. Like smiling at someone pulling a quarter out of my ear; but it’s been years since I’ve seen magic. I work in television but haven’t watched it in months. I have no idea if Mystery has succeeded at turning a batch of geeks into “players” like him… my friend saw him walking the streets of  Hollywood the other day and I wish he’d have thrown a soda at him.

Kids grow up and they start to slow down but I’m still running around like the proverbial decapitated chicken, from one taco shop to the next bar to the dry cleaners to work to the computer to here, to there…. My heart pulses a million beats per second when a beautiful girl smiles at me. I can’t walk down a flight of steps but I leap three of them at a time and come crashing down to the bottom with a heavy thud. I must be always doing something: talking, writing, taking pictures, dusting furniture — or it feels like I’m going to cease to exist.

Kids grow up and they lose motivation to run off the bank and jump into the river but I haven’t, there’s just no rivers in L.A besides the mighty Porcuincula and there’s no bank, just a fifty-foot cement wall and if you jump off of it you’re not coming back. I sit at my window and imagine the great flood of 33 that wiped out bits of Studio City and changed its mouth from Marina Del Rey to San Pedro. That’s why the mighty Porcuincula is now an asphalt sewer basically.

Kids grow up and they don’t fall in love so easily but I still do. With the cottony clouds that trace shapes across the blue December sky. With the song playing on the radio right now with lyrics specifically written for me by a singer who intimately knew the designs of my heart. With my new apartment and it’s wood floors and windows that make a loud, jarring sound when I shut them. With the birds that landed on the wire and got spooked when a squirrel also climbed aboard.

Kids grow up and they no longer get scared by the monsters under the bed but I’m still terrified of them. They just have more human shapes and faces now and speak to me not in growls but slow, undulating syllables about the hopelessness of being hopeful. They describe in horrifying details the hollowness of the human heart. “It’s like a big, fancy house with many rooms and carpets and knick knacks and decorations on the wall and a glowing fireplace but with nobody home.”

Kids grow up and want to forget about being kids but I still remember. I still have a box of baseball cards in the closet and an old blanket that was wrapped around me when I was a baby. Sometimes when the world gets too big and imposing and stares me down like a gangster in a dark alley I pull the blanket out of its storage (it’s baby blue and got Hawaiian words written on it) and snuggle underneath it, although I’m much too massive now for it to provide warmth, somehow it’s still comforting.

Kids grow up… but I don’t.

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