The other day I told my daughter she and I had had a perfect day, and added, "I wouldn't even try to have a perfect day with anyone else."
"What about Tom?" she came back, referring to my old college friend.
"Nah, he drives me crazy half the time," I said.
Which surprised her, and me, because Tom is my oldest and dearest friend. But it wouldn't have surprised Tom (because Tom is my oldest and dearest friend).
Adults, who had gathered material to build castles and bridges to the moon, or whatever Thoreau was talking about, and had wound up building woodsheds.
And now Tom and I, with woodsheds of our own, one each, to store our childish things, to hide in, from our wives, to show off to each other. "Wow, cool woodshed! It doesn't even look like a woodshed! It looks more like a cathedral!"
(Goddamn, son of a bitch, you know and I know it doesn't look like a fucking cathedral. Don't you remember, you were on the top dorm bunk and I was on the bottom when we described what a cathedral looks like. And promised never to fuck around with woodsheds like all the cowardly grownups ended up doing?)
[But it was pitch black in that room. We painted our cathedrals blind. Adults can't berate themselves for not living up to what their dumb child selves demanded, knowing so little!]
(But we mustn't ignore those children either, because they propelled us all this way.)
[Yes, all the way to Death Valley, Halloween cowboys truth-be-told a little bored on our mechanical horses. Waiting for something to go wrong—while praying that nothing goes wrong—that will force us into heroism again, force us again into being great young men.]
(What are we gonna do, now that our great young men are dead?)
[Gotta do something big.]
(Yeah. To wake them up.)