Snakes and Snails: The Despondency of Growing Older

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic
Written for my Pre-AP English class, just to tease my aging teacher ;D

Sorry Mrs. Falato. :)

Submitted: June 22, 2008

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Submitted: June 22, 2008

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"The youth gets together his materials to build a bridge to the moon, or, perchance, a palace or temple on the earth, and, at length, the middle-aged man concludes to build a woodshed with them ."
-Henry David Thoreau

The saddest truth about childhood is that it someday must end. All the long loved adventures and dreamy childhood fantasies eventually fade to a general shade of gray, leaving the now matured person to grow old and become that monotonous factor of society they are destined to be. The very select few who do not merge with the flow, but rather swim against it, are the people we remember as being greater than the common man. Who's to say these we so revere are not influenced by some invisible spark, a voice that spoke to their souls from somewhere deep within? The voice of their inborn conviction, their dreams, their deepest desires; the voice of their inner child. I myself, aged to the better half of my sixteenth year, cannot fully comprehend the things that are to come in my life, I can, however, reflect upon my past experiences, and perhaps depict to you the life I led as a child.

As a boy, I was an adventurer, a climber, a faller, a hide-and-seeker, a believer in things that were unbelievable, a pusher of buttons, and a puller of heartstrings. You may know me now as few of those things,for the world is seen far clearer now than it was during my younger years. Changed I may be, but I haven't lost all my childish traits. I still procrastinate, as I have my entire life, so I may pursue activities that satisfy my need for instant gratification. I have yet to stop questioning things I cannot myself explain, for when a strange theory comes to me, I must put it in its place so I can freely think of new theories. I have yet to stop imagining. My whole life has been an illustrated picture book of events, strung together with the abstract thread of my imagination. Many a times have I been seen expressing this sincerest emotion through art and the written word, in a desperate attempt to exemplify my thoughts to the world surrounding me. Drawings covered my bedroom walls, as if a traveling exhibition had visited my home and I was the artist on display. My stories flooded spiral notebooks, where I felt the freedom to unleash my inner author like a captive wave.

I valued the few true friends I had, as they were my partners in crime, my allies in battle, my fellow mischief-makers and risk-takers. They accompanied me through the shifting tides of childhood, through all the imagined spaceship rides and backyard camp outs, through all the rainy days spent doing puzzles and the sunny days spent plucking dandelions, through the highs and lows and in-betweens, they stayed at my side. The two people who deserve the title of my best friends most are the ones that raised me. My brother was the springboard I used to dive head first into the deep end of life; he not only infused his soul into my own, but put a melody to the jumbled samba of my existence. My mother gave the seed of my life a patch of earth to grow, and gave this seedling the love and care it needed to bloom, and gave that blossom the room to open towards the sun. No one else could ever match the level of influence these two have had over me. I've developed a deep reverence for them both, as they molded me from a fragile being into the imposing free thinker I am today.

At times, the world seemed far larger and amazing than it actually was. From my lower perspective, I saw everything and everyone from a different angle. Quiet but never fearful, I watched and learned all I know from the people around me. Their stories taught me about the trials and tribulations that awaited me, and the importance of my childhood, as it was fleeting and irreplaceable. I walked about yearning to grow big, all the while knowing that I was stuck as I was. Unable to become a man and retain my boyhood cohesively, I opted to do the latter; accepting utter defeat and continuing on my daily romps as an inquisitive tot. It was then I almost totally stopped questioning myself and started questioning everything else. I became and inventor, a writer, an artist, a speller of big words, and a smeller of roses; as if some great force had caused me to have an epiphany.

Its so clear now, how important the childhood years are to the adult mentality. They are the days we remember as long as we live, as the ones where simple things were so complicated. Where you could close your eyes and be anyone or anything you want to be, without the blandness of old age creeping up on you. Where the smell of summer beckoned you out to a grassy knoll to lie and do nothing but feel alive. Where vegetables were poisonous and Christmas came once a year, but was anticipated all year long. Where your feet were never clean and your smiles never hid under frowns for too long. Those days that we've lived, and lost, and remember forever.


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