Hey love, do you remember when we were young? Even before we had met, we were already saying the same words and feeling the same emotions, and we just did not know it.
Hey love, do you remember when you were just another young single? In college and confused about everything?
I do. I remember it clearly. The summer before third year. It was a hot summer (as it always is in my hometown), and I had no car, nothing to do, no one I wanted to see, only my laptop and my dog and my bedroom. And I knew nothing. I was sure of nothing.
I had plenty to say. I knew what my major was, but not my career. I knew what my hobbies were, but not my true passions. I knew who I loved, but not who I was in love with. I had things I wanted to do, things I had planned, but nothing that I had done. But they would take me on dates and I could talk plenty, but it was never enough. My words filled nothing but empty space, and the more words I poured into space, the emptier it became.
But you were the same.
You were a gentleman, respectful and courteous and traditional, but of course never too posh because you were just as young and wild as I was. You threw your head back at all of my awful pick-up lines, and where I filled the space with words, you filled it with laughter. You had a job, but not a career. You had a home and a car, but no one to fill them with. You were a playboy but always so sweet to me anyway.
Hey love, remember when we threw all of that together? We never really figured out any of our confusion, but somehow, we made it work.
Hey love, remember when you saw your first grey hair? You complained about growing old, but your heart was still as young and wild as ever.
And so maybe we are old. Maybe we have kids and grandkids and aching joints and creaking bones and a house, once new, with faded white walls and stained pots and pans and clothes that are soft and loose, once denim and tight. Maybe we can no longer run around the park as fast as we can, arms thrown up and faces toward the sun, spinning and falling and grabbing hands. Maybe we wake up with the sun and sleep with it too, instead of defying every waking hour as we once did. Maybe our hair is all grey and white, and our skin is permanently wrinkled, and we have crow’s feet and laugh lines and frown lines and sagging skin everywhere.
Hey love, do you remember when I had to stay goodbye? You were fading, but with a smile on your face even as you left me for the last time.
Hey love, do you remember when I closed that wooden door for the last time? You were long gone, your insides no longer what I knew and no longer mine, but now stuffed and preserved with things I could never bear to think about it.
We were young singles then old couple and through it all I could talk and talk and talk and I knew exactly what to say and our kids and grandkids always got sick of me. But you never did.
But now there is no one left to hear me talk.
Hey love, when you left, did your soul leave your body and walk through me as I held your hand? Did you take my voice box with you when you walked away from this mortal Earth? Can I follow your ghost and leave behind this torturous silence?
Hey love, can we go back to when we were young?
(Inspired by a friend’s prose: “Old couple young single talking talk”)