Saturday, April 21, 2012

Tall Trees

I was supposed to meet some coworkers for a celebratory dinner. I got lost. I was in my car alone, shivering from the slight chill I could feel, the heat in the car was rushing ineffectually against the windshield of the car. I drove the car through a quiet maze of side streets searching for the road that lead to the restaurant.

I worriedly looked around for a promise placed on a street sign. The streets grew wider and cars would appear now and then. I took a right onto a wide main street. It was strangely still. No people in sight. I drove slowly under a canopy of large shadowing trees.

I made a u-turn when I figured that I was going the wrong way. As I drove slowly I examined the neighborhood. The place spoke of peaceful desertion. The empty streets and sidewalks suggested that no one had been here for awhile. A fact I knew to be incorrect.

Beyond the sidewalk the ground sloped upwards. Green grass leading to a squat elementary school. Alongside it was a playground, a tall chain link fence sprouted from the mulched ground. The absence of children or noise was a touch surreal. And the blank windows of the school building bespoke of a certain serenity, an absence of chaos.

The road was wide, cars parked on one side.  The sidewalk had a row of trees. These trees were tall, with wide reaching limbs. Their trunks were wide and scarred. They bloomed with tiny white flowers. I felt like a kid; for some reason I was reminded of my youth. When you're young everything seems bigger, taller, better and more scary than it actually is. The towering trees shrunk me down to a child's state. And I  got to see this street through younger eyes, when life seemed simple. It was one second of perfection as only a child can see it and how only an adult can remember it.

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