When I was young, I loved being the right age. For me, the right age was any number between when you first learn to crawl and when you first learn to kiss.
The latter was always the trickiest part to navigate through childhood. It was a treacherously slippery slope, and you could not so easily walk back on it unless the other participant was incredibly selfless and would let you on your way, never to speak of it again.
The kiss could come at any time, at any age, and when it does you’re suddenly left with all sorts of responsibilities.
If it is an aunt, your grandmother, even your own mother, or an over enthusiastic father, uncle or cousin then the kissing is relieved of its responsibility. It is something that embarrasses you, but it still sets you free.
The kissing with increased responsibility can surface at any such occasion regardless, it can happen at a party, a friend’s party, a relatives’ party…why, even your party.
Just imagine that, at your own party, on your own terms, life can surprise you in such a cruel and swift way. You can proceed from the right age through to the wrong time.
And the person that kisses you would then ask what I would do with my time, and her time, and then you’d have to think on your feet. What would you say? If words were currency, how would you spend it?
That’s when you think back to all the stories you read when you were the right age, the story of heroic knights valiantly fending off hordes of creatures too nightmarish to contemplate, all to prove something to a fair minded maiden who carried with her a torch by night that lit her way through the lecherous woodlands.
These creatures, that inhabited the cold and fearful forest, had curious customs as they swam in the dark.
Whenever the embers of the flame flickered, they would flinch and rally behind the other, encouraging one to push forward ahead of the other, and dare them to take the torch from the maiden, avoiding the knights altogether.
They would flicker, they would whisper, and that was when they would take a swift breath and blow the fiery embers out, plunging, and plaguing, the maiden and the knights with darkness everlasting, and driving them down the routes they were familiar with back to the safety of their castle.
I would think back to those stories, and I would tell them to those who drove the kisses forward, the ones that would love to know how I would spend my time in their company.
They would offer me their hand, they wished to lead me into their light, but through this story, I would make it abundantly clear I would much prefer to swim in the dark.
I had taken the power from them, and if they came to me with a knight in their corner, to show what I could have been, i would look past them too.
And I would just swim in the dark,
After all, I was still the right age, and this was the right time to start acting like it.