When I was X the world was magical. Nearly all life before that age was filled with magic, dreams, and imagination. The playful chimeras of my mindscape entertained my idle hours while monsters of doubt and ambiguous unfounded fears rarely haunted me.
I would have been in grade IV at the time. It was MCMLXI. JFK was the president of the USA. The Cuban Missile Crisis was not yet an issue, but the tension of the Cold War cast a continual pall over the nation's psyche. The threat of nuclear war was taken seriously by the adults, but for me it was the subject matter of apocalyptic films that I found entertaining and a dark curiosity concerning the real possibility that something like that could really happen. In reverent wonder, I would often look at the pictures in the Funk and Wagnalls encyclopedia of the aftermath of Hiroshima.
Living in San Diego at that time, my summer days were spent playing in the canyons near our house. During the school year I played violin in the school orchestra and always made good grades. I had a strong interest in girls, but I didn't exactly know why--and I was too shy to do anything about it.
These were idyllic times when the days wafted past like the clouds in the sky, when thoughts were as frivolous as school carnivals, and planning for the future didn't go much further than checking the line-up of horror movies on the Friday late show on TV. My parents let me stay up all night on Fridays if I wanted and sleep until noon on Saturday.
When I was XX I looked for magic in the world and tried to cram as much of it in my life as I could. It was MCMLXXI and I was in my second year of college. I was working during the summer to pay the very inexpensive costs of going to a state university. Other than that I was "working for the weekend" as the group Loverboy would sing about X years later.
If I hadn't been going to school, going to Viet Nam would have probably been my only other option. None of us wanted to go to Viet Nam. Fortunately I had a high draft number and wasn't too worried about it. Most of my other friends were either also students, ineligible for the draft, or just waiting to be called. A few went and came back. Some who weren't really friends, but guys I'd gone to high school with, didn't come back. We watched the reports of the war on the evening news and sometimes the students staged protests. There was often some good music at these protests, and there were always young women.
I had an even stronger interest in girls now and now I knew why--but I was often too shy to do much about it. Most of the time, when I wasn't at school or at work, I was hanging out with my buddies. We would spend hours cruising back roads with gas that cost XXXV cents per gallon. Or stay up late playing music or just talking. Sometimes we'd stay up until dawn and then I'd go to bed and sleep until noon.
II x X=XX
May 2nd is next Monday and in case you haven't heard you that's the day of The A to Z Challenge Reflections Mega Post. This is when you can let your thoughts about the Challenge be heard. A Linky list will go up this Sunday Eastern United States time in order to accommodate those of you who are a day ahead of us. We request that you not add your link to the list until you have actually posted your Challenge Reflections and then enter the actual link to your Reflections post to the list. Please try to enter your link accurately so we don't have to go back to edit it. It will be a blog hop and you will be able to easily add the list to your site if you wish. We hope to see all of you on Monday.
Were your dreams at age 20 much different than the dreams you had at age 10? Were you affected by the Cold War or Viet Nam? Do you know your Roman numerals?