running back again


Freshly Pressed: Friday Favs running away and back again

It was 43 years ago this year; I was in Norfolk, Virginia, with Mom and Dad. My bike was red and black, had tassels, a light, and was all tricked out. It was just what every kid in the neighborhood wanted. It was just what I wanted; a nice bike, but even more, I wanted the envy that came with it. Unfortunately, that shred didn’t last long. Actually, that “shred” pretty much lasted a sliver, a sliver of time. I can still remember where and when the whole deal went down. After all, these little events were enormous for a kid of 5, pretty impressionable. Dad was out at sea, my little sister was really little, and my older brother; well, he had probably just finished egging me on “daring” me to do this or that, not knowing that I someday I would be pissed off enough just to give it a shot. My bags were packed, I was ready to go. I went. Mom was obviously oblivious to the whole ordeal, not even recognizing the mischief that my brother John and I had cooked up. I don’t want to put it all on him, but even in hindsight, I can see how just that whole entire 2½ years really was a humongous difference and big-boy step toward “maturity.” I guess kidding around and daring was a part of maturity, too. Apparently, “maturity” to a 5-year-old and real “adults” have different meanings. Oh, it isn’t that kids aren’t real people. You see, 7 ½-year-old kids don’t (or didn’t) consider 5-year-olds as real humans or even citizens at all, for that matter. He didn’t realize that sometimes you can only press buttons so hard. I packed up my little Backpack at about 4 p.m. and hopped on my iron horse, the HOGG, and repeated “I’m Running Away Now.” And went down the exit ramp of the highway, a couple of minutes later my bicycle got kind of tangled up under me. The bike? I don’t even think it made it to the hospital, but I was pretty intact. The head nurse didn’t really want to release the mischievous looking “carrot top.” I came out with slightly bruised legs and a torn backpack. The real cool bike that had a home in our garage was no longer. All in a day’s work; running away and back again.      

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