Lately, my father has been talking. He brings up random facts and memories in the most nostalgic way possible. You see that glint in his eye, and he mentions high school or college. He goes through old books and talks about each one with me, his initial and final thoughts and what time period in his life he read it in. He talks about memoire-nonsense that floats about the air and sticks into my brain's file cabinet of Words of Wisdom.
He's not the type to do this, not usually…not jabber off in a direction of the past. But something's triggering that aged and tinged sadness one feels. Maybe it's with all this stressful hustle and bustle around my college applying and future plans. I'm almost an adult, you guys. Scary stuff.
Or perhaps he's maybe finally just let his age slowly creep up to him. He's in his mid-50's now, a little bit past middle age. I can watch as his hair grows gray and his belt grows a little bigger. As I grow older as well, it's more easy for me to understand and see him in a non-personal sense. Not in a psychologically engineered "Papa" way, but as a man and as a grown human being who has lived and loved.
You know, this age is kind of scary, 17. You've been a kid your entire life, and suddenly, you are declared an adult. You have no experience, you're just thrust into the world with your teenage experiences and memories.
And then before you know it, you become my father. No longer on a college sand-volleyball team. No longer "repping" any serious style in his now-old '84 Harley. No longer able to run or see or live like he used to.
I don't know. Life is a one-time experience, and of course I'd kill to do everything all over again-with what I know now. But the fact that we can't pace forward or jog back, that's a scary variable that time holds.
Time just moves forward. Forever.