They’re at it again.

A couple of hours ago, the truck pulled up to the shop across the road from me with the CD player booming out rap.  I can’t bring myself to call it rap music, since I haven’t been able to associate the two words in my mind, but some would.  The reader is welcome to suit himself.  Me?  I’d call it rap noise, but I’m already off-track, aren’t I?

After the truck, one of those foreign cars with a low-power four-cylinder motor modified to sound fast using a muffler that doesn’t (muffle, that is), pulled in.  The stereo in the truck and the motor on the import car were finally turned off and quiet reigned once again in the neighborhood.  For a few minutes.

More cars followed with more kids.  Not many, but still more than are usually in the area.  The black monsters in my back yard barked to announce the arrival of each.  That was before they began to kick around the soccer ball in the parking lot.  The kids, not the monsters.

More noise.

I wouldn’t mind, but it is after one in the morning.  I need my personal time.  I like to sit at my desk, listening to quiet music and writing.  Noise disturbs the ambience.  My mellow late night mood turns to frustration and petty anger.

Stupid kids!  Get out of my neighborhood!

I wonder if it’s time to call the police?  They don’t belong there at this time of night!

I looked out the window a minute ago to see what was going on.  You can just see me, can’t you?  Typical neighborhood nosy busybody.  I’m standing in the dark and pulling the curtain aside to see where they are.  And, what they’re doing.

Well, would you look at that?  Six or seven guys sitting on the pavement next to the pickup.


Just talking.

My mind flies back.  Forty years ago.  It seems like a lifetime has passed.

Maybe it has.

The cars were Chevys and Fords.  The music was blasting from eight-track players and AM radios as we pulled into the driveways of our friends or into the parking lots of shopping centers.  Glass-pack mufflers were rumbling and the noise was heavenly.  To us.  Probably not to the aging neighbors.

We sat and talked.  We talked about cars and music, about jobs and girls.

We talked late into the night.  Sometimes, we got around to serious subjects.  Dreams and visions of the future.  Sad news about friends who had already met with disaster.  Our faith.

They were important conversations.  Important experiences.

I sit at my desk in the solitude of this early morning and reluctantly, my mind makes its way back to the present.  I’m a little jealous of those young men, sitting across the street, spinning their dreams out into the air.  I almost want to go over and ask if there is room on the pavement for one more.

Oh, it’s not that I’m unhappy with the way things have gone.  I wouldn’t change a thing.  With the Lovely Lady at my side, we’ve made some dreams come true.  There are more still in process.

I would like the chance to offer some insight, though.  I have a few years of experience that I could share…

But, no.  We wouldn’t have listened then.  They’ll not listen now.

Better to let them dream.

The moment has passed anyway.  The parking lot is now clear, the inhabitants thereof having left rather quietly over the last half hour.

I hope they’ve gone to follow their dreams.  Time will tell.

Me?  I’m left here with my quiet music, my thoughts, and a few of my own unfulfilled dreams. Very few.

God has been good.  I am grateful.

Tomorrow, this aging man (who still remembers what it was like to roar down Tenth Street in that ’72 Vega with the wide Parnelli Jones slicks on the back) is going to get back to work on the dreams.

Where there’s life, there’s hope.

I’m still breathing.

“‘In the last days,’ God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit on all people.  Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.'”
(Acts 2:17 ~ NIV)

“Hold fast to dreams,
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird,
That cannot fly.”
(Langston Hughes ~ American poet ~ 1902-1967)

© Paul Phillips. He’s Taken Leave. 2014. All Rights Reserved. 

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