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YOUTH II


I wonder where it is? Where did I leave it?


Maybe I lost it with my new Rayban sunglasses. I only had them for a week before they vanished; really cool, a birthday present from my wife. Now they’re gone and she hasn’t forgiven me.


But no, when I think back, it was gone long before the sunglasses went missing.


Sometimes I feel as if I still have it. I can feel it when I’m swimming or making love. Then I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and I realise it’s gone. Long gone.


I remember a time when I wished I didn’t have it. Those were the days when old people seemed to rule the world. Old people had money and their own cars and girlfriends. They owned houses and some even went to the moon.


All I had was my pocket money, my Cyclops Dragstar and my friend Tom from down the road. I guess he had it too.


Old people used to tell me not to try to grow up so fast. That was easy for them to say, on their way out to parties where they would drink and dance and come home at three in the morning.


When I had it, I didn’t give it a moment’s thought. All those years of study and then looking impatiently for a better job than the one I had. Sleeping with my flatmate and getting my Ford Cortina towed when the gear stick came away in my hand. Waking up to a house full of comatose strangers after a drunken party the night before. Playing trombone in rock bands in pubs. Getting married and divorced, finding a new love and travelling the world.


Of course, there were times when it wasn’t so great having it. So many life-changing decisions; so many forks in the road. Those dark moments. So many near fatal mistakes. It’s a wonder I was able to hang onto it.


Yes, I had it then, I just didn’t know it. I paid it no mind. I never thought the day would come when I’d lose it. If I had thought about it, I may have been more careful. Looked after it. Cherished it.


Perhaps it’s still here, tucked away. But where? I’ve looked all over the place and it’s not to be found.


Hang on a minute, there is one place. That dusty grey filing cabinet in the back of my head. I may have filed it away under ‘Y’. Let me thumb through these old suspension files. At last, here it is, found! What a relief, and it still looks as brilliant as when I was young.




Copyright: story Robert Carrick; photos by Wix for illustration only, not identifying the narrator.


This SSOA blog made possible through City of Sydney assistance.

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