I run sometimes. Not as often as hoped, but I do. And as I do, or even as I walk, I pass this place sometimes where I see two faces from awhile ago. The awhile is misleading, because the awhile even though being awhile, has changed from the present to the past quicker than I like. And now it's been awhile. It's been almost four years give or take a few days, and in those years their faces still are the same. Still standing out. Still young even though they grow. Their bodies have gone from small and sturdy to awkwardly long and feeble. Yet, in their feebleness, they look more deft than I remember. Their actions, their play is quicker and smarter. As their faces have thinned their minds, their understanding of the intricacies of their worlds, the small big worlds that surround them, have grown exponentially. They show it in how quickly they react. They show they will always survive.
They will never recognize me. Maybe they will as I ignorantly underestimate a child's mind; a child's memory. But I definitely recognize them. For a few days in that distant awhile, we had a relationship. It was simple. It was outside, in the same exact environment I see them in now, and we talked. I'd throw him in the air, higher than he'd ever been. And then she'd get jealous, as only a child can, and with success I'd give in and threw her just the same. Higher than she'd ever been. This would go on for only a short while, but for those few minutes in a day I was their friend, and at least in my mind, and to this day in my recollection, I really was their friend.
But now I am removed. Our relationship has changed. I've become an onlooker and no longer am I a friend. Those short-lived relationships were enough to stick with me, maybe forever, and less than enough to stick with them. They don't see me as I pass. Maybe they see me, but what they see isn't any different from the rest. And that's ok, because I'm comfortable where I am and I'm ok. I'm ok with seeing from afar without having to invest up close. My memory allows me in those short moments to rekindle a relationship without having to ever interfere. Without having to ever force a relationship into a hole that was not made to fit that kind of relationship.
But it doesn't mean I don't wonder. I don't dream or hope, but I definitely wonder. I wonder greedily. I wonder greedily because I am greedy. I wonder everything about them. Because in those steps as I pass by them, I know they exist and their existence has changed me. And as it has, I selfishly wonder to fulfill the story that I know surrounds them both. Again, I don't dream for them. I'm not naively hoping the best for their futures. Rather, i just want the lines colored in and the picture shown to me; show in it's always incomplete finality. Or it could be I'm just greedy for something I can never have again. The volatile fragility that is growing up, maybe, well, yes, but in the relationship between me and them, maybe I long for that volatile fragility I potentially see in them. Being young with possibilities where so much is new. Where frustration and rage and even sometimes joy lead to tears. Where time still lags, and meaning has no meaning. Thinking is futile and living is just living.
I remember his name. I remember their father. I don't know her name, but her face is stuck in my mind. They'll be my age soon enough. And they will look different, but I'm sure, if I ever saw them, I would remember.