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March 19, 2004
I'm sorry, you say, and you mean it.

No, you're not! comes the reply. I'm not a child!

No, you're not a child.

No. Not at all. Witness the curvy figure, the deepening voice. But also not an adult. Mercurial, buffeted by more winds than buffet us. The love between you is based on a hundred lies -- that you and she will never disagree, that everything desired is desirable, that the way he feels right now is the way things really are and will be forever -- and one great truth: the love itself. Were it not for that love, certain moments would be unbearable.

You are boring. You know this. There are friends, but they don't live next door, and you have the car and the keys and the driving license and the power. But not quite all the power -- they have power, too, the power to keep you up all night worrying, the power to make you wonder if you are doing things right or going about it all wrong, if there will not be some terrible moment of reckoning in which you will be revealed to have been tragically mistaken.

Maybe this is that moment.

But then again, maybe it isn't. Tomorrow may be a newly friendly place, a new world, a fresh smile. A joke at breakfast. Maybe.

"Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man." We memorized that in Sunday school. It was just about all we had to go on about Jesus' adolescence -- that, and the time he ran away when he was twelve. The gospels that sometimes tell and retell what looks like the same event in Jesus' later life skip right over these years. You wonder why sometimes, until you have one of your own, and then you know. Some things are best forgotten.

And sometimes love just forgets. Sometimes it's better that way. You were a joy. You were wonderful. You weren't a bit of trouble.
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