ah man, them scrawny legs

by tobias crabtree

through a window that sits on the north side of the 238 i can see the plum trees in bloom. i can see a little mountain full of doug firs with a smattering of cedars. cars go by. the steller’s jays, with there naughty minds full of ulterior motives, are in the trees mimicking the red-shouldered hawks. i  can feel the spring coming on. it’s kind of an autumn in reverse, but not quite. i can only feel the excitement of spring through nostalgia. easy now, i’m not saying i don’t feel the lovely gravities of spring, i just don’t have that buzzing craziness that i had as a 13 year boy. that is gone forever in my life, 13 only comes once (thank the sweet baby jesus) and i can remember and i have to  shake my head…yikes!

across the street some kids are walking. they are in that age range. the, i-have-no-idea-what-i-am-but-i-must-pretend-that-i-do-because-i’m-trying-desperately-to-be-something, age range that i remember far too well. there is a skinny-legged boy and a skinny-legged girl and they are lagging back from the group. the boy has his hands in his pockets and he is buzzing and whirring with hormones and ideas and fears. the girl is sweetly ahead of him. she is out in front both physically and geographically. she is more at ease with a kinda short skirt and her ridiculous knock-knees clacking together now and then. i half expect them to sprout goat ears and fairy wings and disappear in the ferns of some magic glen that must exist somewhere; maybe it only exists in my imagination but, still, that is somewhere, right?. and there, in that world, there is less to worry over because it is free of the trappings that consume us.  less has been revealed when we are young and silly. naivety is allowed. there is room for you to be exactly what you are and the future moves out in every direction. once we begin to decide what we are, we can’t help but create misconceptions about ourselves. i’m sure i’m not exactly what i think i am. the people who know me and love me could probably give a more accurate description of what i truly am. hopefully they would hide some of the bad stuff…thank goodness no one is locked away in a quiet room frantically writing my biography. the thought makes my stomach turn.  give me some time, please! i have so many more elaborate lies to conjure up so that i might seem more dashing and interesting, less of a stumbling hack.

but man, i sure do look and see those kids with their scrawny legs and smile. they will go through this day and sit in class and flirt and do stupid things. they will laugh and be so wonderfully human. perfectly naive.  i don’t know them at all but i remember the time when i dreaded the silliest things (like math class) and found endless bliss in a smile from vickie stratton who sat two rows over and one row up. us grown-ups could use a little dose of simple bliss that doesn’t come from a bottle that doctor so-and-so says we need in order to avoid depression.

i don’t think i’ll read the paper today. i don’t think i’ll even check my emails. i might just let this feeling follow me out to the farm where nick and elizabeth are planting carrots and beets. maybe i’ll go feed frito and slim, the two donkeys, and maybe they’ll bray like they did yesterday. i always laugh when a donkey brays…it’s just really funny. lips back, belly pumping, eyes wide and nothing held back. they bray, i laugh. yeah, that’s what i’m gonna do.

here’s to braying donkeys and scrawny-legged kids…and spring.