The Flying By of Time

It really seems like last week I played baseball for Cloverleaf in Port Credit in 1959.  I was the pitcher, along with my buddy Greg Wallace. Mr. Anderson was our coach. I was 15 that summer. 

Why is it I can still smell Carol Thornley’s perfume from that night in the Vogue Theater with her and Roberta Sharpe? And can clearly remember when Gary and I went on his first blind date with Nancy and Arlene, and my big fishing lure with treble hooks was laying on the floor of the passenger’s side of my ’56 Chevy, and it got stuck into Arlene’s crinolines and she walked all the way into the busy restaurant with it hanging out the bottom of her dress at the back…and Gary and I never said anything…

And when Marsha burnt her leg on Gary’s motorcycle exhaust pipe when he took her for her first ride down Wetaskwa Blvd. 

When I was 5 Danny, Mike, Jan Eric and I used to jump in the piles oak leaves Mr Rogers had raked up on his lawn across the street. I can still smell them now, before and especially after, they lit them on fire after dark. The smoked travelled into everyone’s open windows on the street but no one really cared. It’s what you did with dead leaves in our neighbourhood in 1949. 

Fleer’s ‘Double-Bubble’. The gum with the biggest bubbles and long-lasting flavour. And comics of Joe Palooka. I can taste that great flavour right now, after 67 years. And visualize how Valerie would always sleek up behind me and pop the bubble all over my face. 

Where is time now? This is post-prostate cancer time and I want to climb a tree. Stats now say I’ve only got 12.4 years left at best! But I know where that favourite tree in Etobicoke is, or was…

Still smelling my four babies’ talc. And my Brylcream, my mother’s coloured hair, my Dad’s sweaty shirts, my brother’s going-out-on-date after shave. And our faithful dog Snippy’s wet fur, before she got poisoned by old man Ginger two houses down. And my Army socks. 

Time flies, while flies seem to have time enough to sneak in your door and poop on your windows. Here in Northern Ontario Black Flies are perennial as the grass with seemingly no end in sight to their hegemonic ways, time-wise, each year, every year. Like dandelions in heat. 

So my mirror registers onto me every morning that gargantuan fact that time, and everything else, doesn’t stand still. Like my Grandfather’s clock that stood 90 years on the floor, saying “tic, toc, tic, toc..” endlessly. My thick black hair the girls liked, Fonzy-style, is now thin, white, and accumulating in my comb at a faster rate. 

But hey, who wants to live forever, anyways?

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