I was telling him how much I was going to miss him, but in truth he wasn’t going anywhere. Just growing up. And he grew into someone so much different from what he was. I try to picture the stages of his development. I remember that his baby teeth hadn’t fallen out, they just hung there pushed aside by the adult teeth coming into their own. We had to put a large wooden wafer in his mouth and get him to trust that we weren’t really trying to hurt him. Then his brother would come in and they’d make us feel glad to be alive. Growing up has probably not changed them all that much on the inside. I mean we miss their childhood days, but we’ll miss these days too, no doubt. It’s just tricks the mind plays, telling you that the past was better. If it was, you didn’t understand it at the time. Sometimes, like right now, I make the effort. I feel I appreciate the beauty of the present but a part of me still feels disconnected. I wonder how many others feel that way. I imagine everyone does, but more often than not they keep it on the back burner. Likewise, everyone must feel connected sometimes. They might wish they weren’t so connected when things get out of hand. I know how that happens. At times I want to disconnect. Other times I want to connect but can’t. This wouldn’t make me feel like there was something wrong, unless there was.
Gerald Yelle’s books are The Holyoke Diaries (Future Cycle Press), Evolution for the Hell of It (Red Dashboard Press), Mark My Word and the New World Order (The Pedestrian Press), and Restaurant in Walking Distance and Everything (Cawing Crow Press). He teaches high school English and is a member of the Florence (MA) Poets Society.
Gerald Yelle recommends “The Book” by Ben Loory.