I’m in the midst of an interesting experience. Tonight I got some disposable cameras developed that had pictures from 2003-2004. Having just looked at the pictures, I’m experiencing a lot of emotions at the same time.
Both stacks of photos started out with a picture of me & my girlfriend at the time. She was someone that I dated for about 3 years. These were pictures from the early years of that relationship. Those were good times all around. The economy was good, America was still united, & everyone had jobs & money. Sure, the Brewers stunk back then, but we all not only had jobs: we had the seniority to be working 1st shift. As I imagined, there were a lot of pics from Miller Park & a lot of pics of fry-outs & lots & lots of food & drinks & smiles. Sigh.
I’ve always felt that aging was not that big of a deal. Being the morbid motherfucker that I am, I kinda like the concept. But I gotta say that I was not prepared to see how much youth we’ve lost in the last 6 or 7 years. I’m not talking about thinning hair or expanding waistlines, either. Though that doesn’t help.
The people in those photos are gone, & I was one of them. To say that some shit went down between then & now would be a colossal understatement. “Wild & crazy” devolved into straight up insanity over the next few years. Shit went down, indeed. I still see her from time to time, but one of my closest friends from those days has long since cut himself off from everyone I know. The other guys & I are still friends, but life has a way of complicating things whether you want to keep it simple or not. And sometimes even though you're healed, you're still scarred.
These days everyone is either burnt out, busy, broke, or some combination of the three. The future will always be uncertain, but the uncertainty in the air these days is unprecedented, for my generation at least. I don’t really care about how any of us look on the outside. I know there probably won’t be any reunions in some cases. And of course, you can’t go back to the past. We still hang out (sometimes), fry out (a couple times a summer), & hit a ball game (if & when we can). I just hope that someday the smiles will be the same & the eyes will shine again. I just hope.