Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The First Time

Last night, for the first time, I went back into my European journals—the pages I kept while in Paris, Rome, Ischia, Mallorca and Monaco. I was surprised… and pleased. For all the urgency and delight I felt in those far away lands as a freshly-minted adult reflects what I experience every day in New York City. When I wrote these sentences, I touched my past and unwittingly caressed my future.

The first time…For some, like you it is a job to professionally talk of youth and its experiences. The importance of everything at this stage of life! But, you forget this, all of it, in ignorance of your own past or the hardening of your senses. To you, the revelation of young life is a succession of events; nothing more than easy, insignificant moments that lead to adulthood. But, nothing is insignificant from ages sixteen to twenty-two! If only I could prevent the vanishing violent youth, the age when all is new, when everything occurs for the first time.

The first time you fall in love, the first time you lie, the first time you make love, the first time you lose an illusion, the first time you witness beauty and its foe. Time and adulthood finish by imposing the old precept: turn the other way and continue on. But, nothing can diminish the first time like no one can straighten the folds from a girls’ once immaculate sheets.

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