Just some thoughts I formed while spending the evening with friends on Amy’s birthday.
There was something familiar about being in a bar, waiting for the bands to start playing. The scene played like a snapshot from the past and reeked of nostalgia, smoke, and spilled beer. The bar patrons and roadies had surrendered little of their former identities, except that the bright, youthful, and child-like smiles had become more weathered and wrinkled. We were like cars that had travelled too many miles and yearned for the junkyard.
But in the midst of aging men, women, and dreams, there was still hope for the future. What energy had been spent by the ghosts that haunted the tables and bar stools, now stood upon the stage, raising its fist to the air, and saying we matter. It called back to the generation before it as if to say we’ll take it from here, and then with the thunderous drums and riffs that exploded from the speakers, it carried all of us back to the present.
I am fortunate to have the friends that I have. We understand this natural progression, and we make room for it in our own way. While some of us are resistant to this changing of the guard, I think we know it already came and went without our noticing. My friends understand me, and I them. There are no words that are ever exchanged that alude to this conclusion, but when we look into each other’s eyes after the man whose mustache needs its own talk show walks by, or when the woman whose spandex may have fit her twenty years ago waddles to the bathroom, or when the long, gray-haired man head-banging in the front row looks into the eyes of the young woman next to him and they both share a smile, we know. And we laugh until we cry. But we finally know who we are.