Thursday, January 13, 2011

Old Fashioned Nostalgia

I ran across a photo on a blog some time ago that featured a young boy in a red and white-checkered shirt tucked into stiff blue jeans. The photo was snapped from behind so it is hard to make out his age, but I would place him at about fifteen or sixteen judging by his frame and his height in relation to the blue nineteen-sixty something station wagon next to him. This boy is holding a small rifle with subtle poise and practiced form, pointing it at something out of frame. This isn’t his first time shooting a gun. Stretching as far as the camera can capture, there is flat, green land. I have been here before. Not physically, but in many of my wanderings within my own young mind. I ached for years to live in the country, feeling the butt of rifle pressed against the front of my shoulder. I wanted to wear starched Levis and feel the swagger of Brando and Newman. This place is familiar, truer than the playgrounds I stomped around in Elementary School. This is the moment I envisioned when I was sitting on the bench in little league, watching bigger kids get most of the action. I wanted to be standing next to a nineteen-sixty something station wagon, my father standing proud behind me, capturing the pure exuberance of his son firing a gun into the vast countryside of wherever. This boy in the photograph, even as I look at it now, brings me to an overwhelming envy. At twenty-three years old this fifteen-year-old scrawny bastard is living out all of my childhood dreams in one pull of the trigger.

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