I remembered days like, summer days where we were nothing but smoke. And time seemed like a centerpiece whose purpose was to collect dust because I had monarchs to catch and wolf spiders to feed, and neighborhood kids were best friends and worst enemies all in one until someone cried, “Supper!” and we would all disappear, ephemeral and longing and raptured home to Lord Mother and Lord Father to feed and prosper and espouse about a bloody knee.
When did I grow up?
I didn’t plan it, and yet it happened and here I am, safe in my same New Jersey bed in my same New Jersey home in my same New Jersey city where a week prior everything was glorious and vanguard and I had plans to conquer and sights to see and I saw God on morning high and evening tide and yet now it seemed like a desperate search for something unattainable but that I needed because I did not know what exactly it was.
Once upon a time I wanted to be famous. But not anymore.
That was what the cancer was that had burrowed deep into my generation, and I was just now realizing it by being lost—the longing to have the most Twitter followers, or Facebook friends, or having the instant gratification of sending a SnapChat to some unknown person a thousand miles away you have never met.
How awkward it must be to come soul to soul, face to face, if you ever even did, eventually, and know that you had seen timed snap shots of this person’s life through digital media but never saw personhood or character? They may be glorious to look at, everyone knows their good angle, and they may have a following…and yet age decrepits even the most Greek, people forget who people are, and what you were five minutes ago isn’t what you are five minutes from now and still we feebly try to keep tally by followers on a made-up scoreboard who are just as whimsical to flight away with breath of wind as you are to send a text message to the past a wonder if they got your message to no avail.
The only true constants are love, family, and God.
It doesn’t take an adult to see that scraped knees heal by affection and understanding, that is why children ask for you to kiss a boo boo before disappearing back into the smoke of youth.
And while digital media is great for connecting with loved ones, to use it in any other fashion is narcissism and cancerous.
I am working on that not to be the case for me, and it is a long road, because becoming smoke after becoming stone and accepting morality and mortality beyond the digital dialogue while still maintaining my dreams of writing and producing will be harder to grasp. But the respect is worth it.
So when my son, Atticus (whoever his mother maybe in future times as she must agree to this name prior), asks me while I’m bandaging his scraped knee, Can I join Facebook?
I’ll say, “Let’s write the story of you first."