I am sitting in a pub listening to a cover of an old Cat Stevens song that is still beautiful to me. The song makes me cry because it stands in such contrast to the world as I know it. It’s a truth that hurts.
I am half a world and almost half a century away from first hearing that song, and I am thinking about an old military friend who just died at 52. We didn’t part amicably, and I never thanked him for the good times that made us or apologized for the bad that broke us. Too young to die, I’m old enough to know that he deserved better and he deserved better from me.
I’m sitting here eating pizza and drinking beer like a completely normal person, as old things echo and resonate inside and out and I’m wishing they didn’t. I wish they wouldn’t. Maybe if I drink more, I’ll forget them. Maybe if I walk outside, the blinding summer noises of one of the world’s largest cities will deafen those haunting reverbs.
But that won’t work. Half a century old, I still stand in contrast to myself, and that merits no tears. The song remains the same. The truth still hurts.