It's an evening drive amidst warm setting sunlight, cars occasionally pass by headed to or from the beach, the trees are just beginning to blossom and there's an actual leafy smell that just faintly encroaches. A piece of paper gets whipped up off the street in the breeze and dances with a woman whose arm is moving up and down outside her car window, cupping the air and throwing it back out. There's music, of course, cascading down over me like a cold shower and fermenting emotions and drenching the atmosphere in placid melancholy, and there's the knowledge that, as I age, I will never write a book that moves people to tears or makes someone think they weren't living up until that moment they read it, I will never direct a movie that leaves audiences in stunned silence at its grandeur, I will never capture the perfect photograph of a perfect sunset, I will never sink the game winning shot in a basketball game, I will never have the "college experience," much less graduate from one, I will never fall in love with someone so fully and have them fall in love so fully with me that nothing else exists, all these moments are moments that might as well be lost to me, slipped through my grip as time's finite beat marches on, body only a decade away from starting to feel sore in the morning after drinks at a bar that I sit at alone. There's so much beauty in the world that I will never be a part of, never create, never do, and at times it's too much, so I'll play some music and drift away to sleep to the sound of melancholy guitar and piano, and dream of what might have been if I could have just done things differently, if I just taken more risks, stuck my neck out, leapt without looking, been smarter, been funnier, been prettier... been better. Learning to be something I never wanted to be, and learning that I won't be what I wanted to be, is an inescapable futility of growing up, nobody ever dreamed of being a Walmart greeter, or a tax accountant, or a telemarketer, yet here we are, learning to be our average selves, in a world that's anything but, hemmed in by money or family or time or work or other constraints that we wish to escape yet find it so hard to push back against, and trying to be crushed under the realization of it all.
Outside, a young child plays in the grass, unaware of things to come.