Civilized Behavior

"SPIRIT",   1993,   m/m,   14x14x4"

"SPIRIT", 1993, m/m, 14x14x4"


I love teenagers.

Yesterday,   I had backed my car up to the house and left the hatchback open most of the day as I waited until I had enough energy to bring stuff into the house.

I waited all day into the evening.    And still… the hatchback was open out there.

AND THEN… a little knock on the door and I find my two neighbor kids;   probably 13 and 15.  I’ve lived here for three years now and there has always been an awkwardness between their family and me.   We are culturally different and there is the ever-present adobe wall between us to contend with.  They are a real family;  two boys running, shooting hoops, yelling at each other;   I LOVE this!  Since I chose not to have kids and give my art career my attention, I tend to live vicariously through others.  I’ve never done well with infants but teenagers, I seem to want them around me more and more.

It has surprised me so much that my neighbors and I like each other from afar but we stay just that:   once removed.  I watch myself yearning for a connection there but don’t act on it.  That is why it was such a surprise when I saw the two boys at my door asking if I had anything in the car I needed help bringing into the house.    The seemingly small attentiveness they showed in noticing that my car door had been open so long and breaching those silly made-up barriers that keep our hearts in lock-down,   actually brought me to tears.    Of course, being no dummy, I know full well their parents were behind the kindness here but I got to make them my heros and they were feeling good when they left.  And so was I.


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