The kids that wouldn’t come in from recess

October 30, 2006

Someone called out “last goal wins” right before the bell rang, and somehow it mattered. It mattered that we were playing, and it mattered that we finished. It was our decision and it wouldn’t be undone by a noise that had nothing to do with us.

So we just kept playing. I don’t remember the game, but I remember the sweetness; the wild shock of discovery that we had power over our world. There was an urgency and immediacy to the freedom we’d claimed; every deliberate second was measured, and mourned, and celebrated. We were dead men returned to life, just to breathe, just to grin and yell and contest the moment. Eventually someone scored and we went inside, but we held onto that sweetness for as long as we could.

Twenty years later I find myself immersed in a cluster of friends who refused to give up their respective games. To varying degrees they compromise, day to day, but they are never far from joyous conspiracy. Somehow they make each other more free, more real. I don’t pretend to know them, not really, but I can see them for the children they were. Should a bell ring to summon me into the halls of adult drudgery, while the indifferent world files past, these are people that would stay by my side and play.

And again, I am reminded of that sweetness.

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4 Responses to “The kids that wouldn’t come in from recess”

  1. Sabre Tooth Says:

    Wow… that’s really sweet AJ.

    And inspirational too!

  2. rox Says:

    Most of my playmates have diaspora-ed. I like this musing on the gloomy disappointment that adulthood can be… joy is my favorite form of resistance.

    (Oops, I don’t know how to use the internet, this comment was suppose to go here… I’ll never be as empowered as the perverts in passive depressive…I must be a Luddite-style perv)


  3. “I must be a Luddite-style perv”

    I hear they make their lube with goat grease and flop sweat.

  4. rox Says:

    That concept just broke my brain. Not so much the goat grease as the flop sweat. Stupid vivid imagination.


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