Tonight, I am Young…

So often when I write I feel this overwhelmingly-over the top- insane desire to voice my maturity. You see, I don’t like telling my age because I feel like the number of my years doesn’t match the number of my soul. But tonight, well, tonight I am young…

The music starts, we’ve all heard this tune before. This melody alone closes one door and opens another. I feel that sense of change and I jump into the craziness that is my future just as I jumped into a twirling jump rope as a girl; careless and daring. I smile but it doesn’t quite hit me yet. This is it. After four years we are moving on. He will set down his diploma to grab the controls of a fighter jet. She frames her diploma so that when she uses a scalpel it isn’t considered a crime. Me on the other hand…I graze my hand over this coveted paper as if to wipe my slate clean. With my past accomplishments I wipe away my childish fears and my insecure questioning so that moving on is that much easier.

I catch his eye more than once and my heart hurts that sometimes things happen that pull people apart. But with this happening I’ve learned something: pick up on the subtle hints, they tell you all about a person. She talks louder than anyone but I know her heart is good. We never talked much due to my bystander mentality but I wish her the best. My, this is harder than I thought.

Daily I went to the designated buildings and sat through classes. Some days were an absolute party but most days I said, “I can’t wait to get out of here,” and I carried that belief to the end. I wanted to get out, but now I see that I will miss more than I had originally calculated. In these past four years, I was allowed to be young. I lived a slightly spontaneous, mildly manic life and that is one thing you won’t see in my notebook of regrets. Tonight I told myself to write “Fin” and turn the page. Tonight I am young…

This white page is daunting. I could do so many things but for now, I will write simply this:

The world never stops, do something that changes this. Love furiously, listen intently and live intentionally.

I will have my whole life to show off my love for the future but for right now, in this moment, I will lay down in my youth and sleep knowing that I will forever be moving forward and never return backward.

Tonight, I am frozen in time. Years from now this outfit and hair style will be nothing more than a memory in picture form. I will show my children and they will marvel at my youth, for they will have never known this version of me. I will breathe in the cold oxygen of what tomorrow will hold but for now I will choose to hold my breath and enjoy this night. I will hold the hands of time still and fight the oncoming trucks that blind me with their headlights of possibility. I will stomp my rising platform down and I will tell the world to stay awake for a little while longer. Tonight, I am young. I will run one last time into that uneven forest of adolescence and I will set off fireworks, everyone will know I am here. I will jump into the fountain and splash around in what Ponce de Leon died seeking. For in this moment I am drenched in the youth he hunted. I will dance without music because my heart will replay my favorite memories and that is the sweetest music. I will find my Leonardo and tell him to travel the world with me. Tears will fall only because of the beauty my eyes witness. Laughter will be the fuel that moves my legs toward my goals. There will be a lot of winking in my last rampage of remembering, sarcasm and tomfoolery never go out of style. I will pull that chair out from under father time and I will soak my obstacles’ hands in warm water as they sleep. I’ll try to rip a table cloth off of a table like the magicians. I will start to count the stars in the sky, and then I’ll restart and restart. I will sing louder than the birds, after all, I have thumbs so I am superior. I will grab my paintbrush and my cherry red paint…I will paint the town red. I’ll skip down the avenue of adventure and I’ll giggle until morning comes.

Tonight,

I

am

YOUNG.

 

 

–Aris Rielle Angle

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Observations From O’Hare

Everyone is rushing, they have places to go. The seasoned bob and weave through the masses while the rookies look up wide-eyed in hopes to find their place. Hooked to their screens they work, I cannot judge them because as I write this I do the same. Men walk with chests puffed to bask in the success they wish to scream at onlookers through their manner. Women hold close to their belongings trying to stay on path. I admire the children and the way they follow; for the most part. I see a child beg for a souvenir and I see another lying fast asleep on their father’s shoulder. Looking, looking, looking. Coming and going. They each tell a story all their own. Perhaps they are going on their honeymoon, perhaps they are traveling to say their last goodbyes. I watch, again I continue to master the art of being a bystander. She walks quickly, maybe this is due to tardiness or maybe excitement. Her arms swing to and fro as she goes on. He walks calm and smooth. Judging by his backpack, he is going to, or coming from somewhere adventurous. I picture that man walking through trees and climbing mountains. I would be disappointed to hear that he simply went to visit his aunt. The next man comes by, he laughs with friends. I pretend that they are reminiscing an encounter with a drunk and foolish man on their travels. This is a memory that they will pull out of their minds at friendly gatherings for years to come. They will no doubt start the story telling with “do you remember that guy in Turkey?” Laughing will soon follow as they open that mind drawer. She rolls one small case. Alone she walks as she keeps a straight face. She resembles a foreigner maybe she is here to visit family. Maybe she is here to finish school. He looks like an educator. She looks like an anxious mother. He boasts the colors of our nation,┬áhe is a soldier. I want to thank him. The two sitting by me just met. The woman is blonde and speaks with an accent. She laughs with the man as they try to plug-in their phones. Is love starting here? I couldn’t tell you. They are headed to Vegas. He is here for love. She wants to experience life and he looks me in the eye as I type…oh how I hope these people are unaware that I am making them characters in my story. She is beautiful, in her heels she walks with confident steps. Grandpa. Athlete. Stewardess. Spring breaker. New guy in town. Playboy. The gang is all here. Lets go somewhere wonderful. All of you beautiful people, lets join hands and cross the ocean. Adventures await us.