of Prodigies

July 18, 2016

Like you, I have countless memories of my youth or childhood.
They are crisp and easily recalled and, as I get older, I seem to rely on them more frequently.
Also, as I age, I often worry that there may come a day I’m unable to so I’ve thought to begin a series where I recount these precious tales to myself, as one would a child.

The following, is one of those.

 

As a small boy, you had an incredibly vivid imagination.

Not necessarily more than any other boy your age, but at least in one case, significantly less. And you were green with envy.

Playing Cowboys and Indians was required for any boy from your era and you were no exception. Your parents were exceptionally generous in outfitting you in every manner of True Grit accouterment. The cowboy boots that you were rarely out of, holstered cap guns, U.S Calvary Outpost sets to be assembled with corresponding threatening Indian figures placed outside, laying siege. Or the coon skin cap, if remembering the Alamo was the tragedy to be played out, with varying outcomes.

Frontier Land in Disneyland, and especially the Army Fort on Tom Sawyers Island, were places you dreamed of living, forever. Hoping your parents would somehow forget you there and you’d be free to wander, once the park had closed.

Scan 10

It was not an unfamiliar sight for you and your Friends to be seen prancing around, attempting to simulate a horses gait, even holding imaginary reigns to your chest as you tried to calm your feisty steed as it reared and bucked.

Yet there was another boy who was not among your Friends, who played alone, rode alone. You’d see him and keep your distance because you, your posse, thought him strange. He had no interest in joining your own group of outlaws, playing whatever lawman or cattle rustler you would insist he’d portray.

No, this kid had his own Spaghetti Western playing out in his head and was not about to forfeit the lead role to be relegated some minor figure, on someone else’s western plain.
While you scoffed with the other boys at this kids dismissal of any camaraderie, secretly, you understood and were jealous.

You were jealous, but with Friends, pointed and snickered.
But secretly, you wished you could be that kids Tonto.
Because, as a little boy thriving on TV westerns and comic books, you understood that this kids game was at an entirely different level.

While he, like you, clutched imaginary reigns to his chest and lifted his feet as a horse might do, that kid wore wood clogs when he did, sounding just like a horse might.
Fucking clogs. A little boy. And it was glorious.

That kid gave zero fucks about you or what your Friends might think. Of how strange it was to see a little boy in wood clogs, when only girls wore them.

That little boy wasn’t content with the meager beast you rode. That kid rode a magnificent stallion and you fucking knew it too.

You remembered that kid and his ingenuity but you also remembered how brave he was and how you would never have been so daring, so carefree.

You often wondered what became of him but how he probably did very well.
You often thought to be more like him as you got older.

 

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