Vernal dispatches [Chronicles of ™ 04•10]


«When childhood dies, its corpses are called adults and they enter society, one of the politer names of hell. That is why we dread children, even if we love them, they show us the state of our decay.» – Brian W. Aldiss

Spring is rolling across the lands in splendid, blooming, nicely scented waves of freshness. In the morning the sun gets up from under the horizon before I do so from under my comforters. I know this because it are golden/orange shafts, slipping under my incompletely closed shatters, which tickle me awake in the morning. Caressing my retina like 8-minute-old remains of sun. [For contrast: in the winter it is the heartless tune of a 2006 Nokia cellphone, which is then immediately pressed into snooze mode. Again&again.] But not these lovely mornings of spring. I want to get up, I cannot wait for the day to get started and for me to become an active little particle of it.

I either need less sleep or the days’ stronger sun keeps giving me more energy than I can handle. Either way, I do not hit the sack [where did this idiom come from? Boxing Academy?], hit it b4 midnight and I do not crash any longer than 7’o’clock. Yes Chief, this be the working day truth.

It is SPRING time. March Madness already lies behind us and we are on to April Arousal. Meaning plebs running around in t-shirts, tank tops, skirts and all the clothes cut skimpy enough to rev back up the good old hormonal engines. Flowers are making a powerful push for Sol’s splendid rays. The world is exploding into polychromaticity like a Sony advertisement: Alizarin, Apple green, Bittersweet, Pink, Cadmium Yellow, Carmine, Cerulean, Chartreuse, Coquelicot, Cyan, Magenta, Electric Crimson, Emerald, Fuchsia, Grullo [not, of course not, except perhaps mulchy remains of dirty snow], Harlequin, and so forth[1] [hereafter a.s.f]. Every little patch is a superb playground of colors for our eyes to feast on. As are the naked patches of body of those young, good-looking, underdressed folks.

Even my sentences, in these lovely days of renewal, are wafting certain unmistakable scents off of the screen.

I am guessing that now, as one walks down a light-drenched couloir of houses in the old part of the city, the breeze lightly playing with one’s reduced clothing, even old people are tempted to think that death is but an absurd rumor, at best a tanatophile hypothesis that no living person can definitely verify. And I empathize. My neurotic mind too has reduced the imaginings of series of unfortunate events that lead to my premature demise, for which I owe the vernal season many thanks. One lives higher quality, if less mindful, in the absence of thoughts on quietus. In my subjectively limited experience.

It is spring. Spring, spring, spring. Hellz yeah! Interesting observations? Roger that.

I was walking across Voegeli-Gaertli [Bird’s Park], my stomping ground of carefree [or carefreighted] kindergarten days when one’s only obligation was to play, play all day. I used to love to go to this park. Not necessarily because of the sand or the swings or the wooden pretend-castle but because of the tree. There was a tree we used to climb on and from which one could look down on everything. Even almighty adults! Then we jumped down to become regular kids again who are oblivious of painful spines and knees.

Except that once a guy named Lorenz, I think, fell of the tree backwards into the car park. I was stunned, certain he had suffered grave injuries. But the only consequence was a toddler-shaped dent in the car’s hood from where the scrawny, little body had… alighted. Without interruption he rolled off the car and made his way back into the park. Is it really surprising that, as a small one, I used to think that I am immortal?

Well so then the other day, coming from school, I crossed that little green square of long-ago bliss. The Northern section where the playground is flush up against the hedge [the trees have been chopped down] was closed off. There was construction machinery roaming the grounds: small dozers, caterpillars, vibratory plate compactors [those unwieldy bouncety contraptions that compact nameless materials], dumpers and all the odd wasp-yellow machinery that takes steel, concrete and operators and providently morphs them into infrastructure.

I found myself wondering how it could be that the old playground had already run the river of its time because, just a few days or weeks ago, it had looked fine as wine [say, a red one from cali]. The construction project in my sentimental eyes looked something flowing more from the municipality’s public engineers’ restlessness to transform all existing urban forms, rather than a complain lodged by representatives of the children’s parliament. Lugging little kiddie-sized suitcases full of signed petitions to the town hall, asking their parents to help them with the load and stop it with the belittling remarks; that one has valid causes independent of one’s age bracket.

Or the designer bureaux responsible for these new style playgrounds are working their network well because these days, take some traintrips and walks around Switzerland if you must, these spelplaetz are mushrooming all over the place. Hideous, awkward constructions that seem at odds with the small ones’ basic need to play and not get injured. E.g. a sinuously deformed stick with a small round base on which one might be able to spin if there would be some space that allows one’s feet or hands serious purchase. A triangular board with few and far inbetween climbing knobs that anyway is so un-high that it would only present as challenging to a neonate. Which anyway are only interested in sleep and mother-milk, newborns are.

Or maybe I’ve become too adult for this, 31years, not the age to still be fooling around on the playground. But then also some good new apparati, which looking at them, I envy today’s toddlers along a forthright, retroactive vector of jealousy. I wish I could be five again just to play with that scaled-down hydraulic excavator, please.

Anyway, my playground of yore, hauled free of half a meter of sand, was being picked over by yellow and orange construction machinery. Some of the new play-contraptions that will subtly manipulate children for adult life were already in place. And right next to it, standing on a small wall were two children. Seven year olds, at the max, staring down into the loamy pit. Staring studiously, gauging, trying to assess if the construction was progressing to their satisfaction and if the workers and designers were actually putting together a site that matches their ludic needs. I did not necessarily discover anticipation in these milquetoast, fragile childrens’ faces what I saw was scrutiny. A precocious knowledge of what one wants from life and whether or not life, this eternal prankster, would be able to deliver.

Behind them stood their mother or grand-mother or a stranger who happened to stand by as I passed, certainly an adult, a mere layperson in the vitally important matter of the progress of the construction of the playground. She stood their unhurriedly, letting the infantile experts do their work.

[1] If you have internet connectivity you can look up «List of colors» on wikipedia to get the full listing.

About tmabona

writer, reader [bolano, DW, bellow, deLillo], runner, badmintoneer
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