I lost my childhood at the age of 38. Or maybe it was a few years before then when I felt the small twinge of a snap from somewhere within my aging soul.
What started it all?
A walk. Nothing more. Nothing less. I tried to duplicate the same walk I took many years ago as a child. I tried to find the dirt roads that used to make my feet black and calloused from the hard, hot sand. I longed for a puddle to play in. One that would come all the way up to my knees and would allow me to submerge myself until I was soaked from head to toe. But, there were none to be found.
I ventured to the corner store. The one where I would walk in barefooted just to get a bottled pepsi. My grown feet walked in with shoes on and all the sodas come in plastic now. It's just not the same.
The nice lady, who worked behind the counter, who knew me by name, well she has since been long gone. Someone did something bad to her one night and she has since moved on to something else.
There are only two dirt roads that are familiar to me that still exist. The one I live on and the one that was named after the old barber shop that served clients Wednesday thru Saturday. It's closed down now. The barber shop that is.
Between the dirt roads was a trail that lead thru woods. It was a path that changed my life. A path that caused my heart to grow to grow up just a little faster than need be. That small path, now over grown with vines and shrubbery, represented another world to me. It was a path where possibilities were endless. This was where secrets were told. Dares were made. And kisses were exchanged.
He was older and taller than I. He represented the world to me. I fell in love with him in the only way a young girl can.
Dirt roads. Wooden paths. They are magical, aren't they? As time passed by, more kisses were kissed. More mischief was created. We stole a care with the drunken owner laid in the back seat unaware of what was going on.
I had my first drink on that dirt road. And my first joint.
When you're young you believe the foot prints you leave behind will always be there. As an adult you realize that memories are replaced by new ones. And sometimes they're not yours.
Thee dirt roads no longer know my foot prints. The path has long since said goodbye to the kisses that helped my learn to love.
And the boy, that beautiful golden haired boy, passed away before his time.