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The Day’s Delight: Punch

There’s a floaty, skating feeling that comes from a certain mix of sugar, fatigue, time alone, and someone else’s voice coming through the phone.

Like a leftover birthday balloon that drifts from room to room a week after the guests have come and gone, shimmying at waist height, ribbon trailing across the floor, dancing with no one in particular–swaying with itself.

To have “nothing to do” and to call someone up, to make, in fact, two phone calls without any major news to report– that is the feeling of junior high: independent but without freedom. Bored, but contentedly so. In limbo.

But this time, there’s a little less rush to move on to the Next Thing, to Grow Up, to Move Out. There’s savoring; there’s a subtle scent, like when we shift our weight out of the coldest depths of winter and the weather begins to turn. The animal self knows it, feels it, and is restless.

It’s the feeling at summer camp, lying out on the soccer field in the dark, on the damp grass, heads on each other’s bellies, hopelessly succumbing to infectious giggles.

It’s the feeling of staying up too late, of kissing that boy for the first time (and then again and again).

It’s skinny dipping in the lake, (again in the dark), every inch of skin awake to the glide of the water.

It’s the feeling of being young, of possibility as a fundamental truth, not something to whittle down to a more practical size. It’s all the good bad choices, all the testing of boundaries, all the slumber parties and truth-or-dares, all the love letters written on notebook paper, folded just so, and kept in a shoebox like real treasures.

Maybe this punchy feeling isn’t the exception. Maybe when you spin around and around and around, arms straight out, world blurring behind you, gravity gets rid of every Should, and what’s left is the shining truth: the You that never left.


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