Under Pressure

"It's the terror of knowing
What this world is about -
Watching some good friends
Screaming let me out!
Pray tomorrow takes me higher. . ." - David Bowie/Queen

My life is beginning to feel like a little collection of short stories - penned by some cosmic O. Henry - always some "twist" to give it a kick.

Yesterday would be a two-part feature, beginning with "The Ransom of the Baseball Ballerina" - my fifteen year old has offered to pay ME if she never has to babysit her sister again.

The second, "The Viewing," is a story about a woman attending a wake with her husband. While she has never met the deceased or most of those in attendance, she is able to put twenty years' worth of stories and names to faces in an hour's time. The nostalgia overload and affirmation of the fragility of life inspires the couple to stop and visit an old friend who is ill. And, with one re-connection, the purpose of the day shifts from the repose of a soul to the reawakening of the past. . .

What a weird day. Talk about being able to see what was at the other end of the road not taken!! I think this story would begin this way. . .

"Two teenaged boys sat by a pool
And, sorry I could not date both,
And being one teenaged girl, long I flirted
And I chose the one on the right
And that has made all the difference."

As "O" usually has an "upside" to his stories, so have I some good illustrative material to share with my kids about the effects that bad choices can have on a person's life. Like Bogey put it, they always start out, "Mister, I met a man once when I was a kid."

We were all at the same place in a moment in time, teenagers with unlimited potential and our whole lives ahead of us, but we chose different paths. Now, in a second that took twenty years to pass, we can see where our efforts have paid off and our addictions have not.

I think we all just pray, in our own ways, that tomorrow will take us higher.

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