Memory: Griff And The Intergalactic Space Fort
One of the mental distractions I use when I'm trying to fall asleep at night is memory skittering: I just randomly seize on moments from conversations in my life and move on to the next random one as fast I possibly can. I find that I can skitter over about two different memories a second when I really get going. (It's bizarre to me that this is relaxing, but there it is.)
One of the memories I tripped over last night involved a friend named Griff I had in grade school. We played on the intergalactic space fort thingy on the Villas Elementary School playground because it was an intergalactic space fort and in those space race days most every kid was seriously into intergalactic space forts.
I remembered a particular morning when we went out to recess unusually early for some reason or another. Everything was still a little damp and the last of the morning fog was still visible. He was cross that the space fort was cold and wet but we decided it was space fort fuel that had been spilled in an alien attack. We were mighty satisfied with solving that problem, and then he broke character long enough to say something wry and funny about how dorky we were, and we both laughed. Then we went back inside, a little damp from all the damn space fort fuel.
Later that year he was killed riding his bicycle. After that I went to the space fort without him and I didn't know how to feel about that. I still don't.
So there I was in bed last night, fifty some years later, thinking of my buddy and wondering if, at that exact second I might be the only person thinking about him right then.
That seemed important somehow, but I don't know exactly why. I'm not sure why I'm sharing it with you either except that it feels important. I still miss Griff and I still miss space forts.