parallel-childhoods // 3/14/2021


A boy is born to a couple and his name is August.

It’s their first child so they are determined to do everything perfectly. They are both high achieving people at their respective corporate jobs and already have a 5 bedroom house despite only using one of the bedrooms. They waited until they were 30 to have a child because they wanted to go to many concerts and, “enjoy their 20’s”. However, despite having no religious based inclinations, once they were both nearing or had turned 30 they felt the pressure from their instincts to finally take the time to have a kid.

During the pregnancy the wife was constantly power lifting, attempting to increase her max squat weight while writing a detailed blog about being a pregnant vegetarian. She even ran a half marathon 5 months into the pregnancy and was featured on Snapchat News.

Snapchat news is evil!

Back to the newborn boys perspective,

Before he ever had his first memory his parents fed him some sort of scientifically supported milk supplement for newborns that costed nearly 20$ a day as well as vegetable shakes throughout the first few years of his life.

His first memory was his father playing perfect pitch training for him in the car and his father telling him he needed to listen when he inquired about why you could see the moon in the middle of the day.

When he was around the age of 7 he met another young boy that lived around the block of his suburban neighborhood. They raced each other up and down the street on razor scooters. The boy quickly invited him over after

When he asked his mother if he could go his mother described the neighbor boys house and said.

“is that the house with the mess in the front yard?”

“There’s car parts everywhere” – Said the boy

*sigh* ” Go and play if you want, I thought everyone in this neighborhood could afford their own mechanic work done by somebody else” – The mother responded curtly

The father of the neighbor boy was working on a car when he arrived

“Welcome over!” The father exclaimed

He showed the boy the car he was working on and told a funny story about his job as a plumber and explaining a time he went to a person’s house and their toilet had fallen over and shattered because a dog ran into it. Causing both boys to laugh.

The neighbor boy then showed August around the house. August noticed that the house was cozy and while in the TV room was confused by why there was carpet everywhere.

Just as he was thinking this the neighbor’s father walked in.

“Have you ever seen shag carpet August?”

“No? What’s that?”

“Back in the 80’s many people put carpet like this on their floors and walls, it was the current style. My parents had this type of carpet in the room I used to play in as a young boy. I always thought it was cool that it was on the walls and made the room feel cozy. Although many grown ups would judge me these days, as the styles have changed, I like it!” The father said while smiling

August smile back.

One time, the neighbor boy invited August to go on a day trip to a theme park with him and his father. August was on the swim team and had practice at 7am 6 days a week during the summer but was able to go since it was his day off of swimming.

The boys had a extremely fun day but didn’t get back until 2am. His mother still insisted that he got up for swim practice early in the morning where he had to swim across an ice cold lake with the rest of his team.

August and the neighbor boy hung out frequently throughout their childhoods, they would always bring each other to family gatherings when possible.

When August would go to his friend’s house for events such as bonfires his friend’s father would be playing the guitar in a jovial manner and encouraging everyone else to sing along to songs that often had silly words that made all the young boys laugh. Often the neighbors father would have a talented friend playing bass along to his guitar.

The friend’s father would often pass his guitar around to each of the boys at the bonfire and they would laugh together in a lighthearted manner when one of the boys wouldn’t know how to play guitar and play off key screeching notes.

When August’s father would play guitar with family friends his father seemed to demand that everyone else was quiet and expect them to listen to him.

When August’s father had a musically inclined friend present, the friend his father had never seemed to be as talented but would dutifully play the bongos while his father took center stage with the guitar.

There was never any sing along songs when his father played, the women would sit and sip wine and reprimand any children in attendance if they disturbed the music.

Throughout junior high August’s parents constantly pressured him about his grades despite doing well coming fairly easily to him. They also constantly were in his ear about improving his swim times in order to get scholarships and go to a good collage.

August’s friend would complain to him about how his father would wake him up early to take him to car shows or to search for rare pinball machines, which his father collected.

When he got to high school August’s parents very strongly pressured him to join a boarding school two hours away.

They filled his head with the idea of getting into a collage where he could academically excel, that if he couldn’t get a scholarship in swimming he needed to have a strong academic portfolio as a backup.

At the boarding school he followed a robotic but calm routine of class, hours of homework and bed. Now and then getting to play games online.

However, a firewall on the school issued computers restricted most games people his age were playing. These games would have allowed him to communicate with his neighborhood friend back home.

August would see his neighborhood friend for a meal or a game of basketball at the park when returning from the boarding school 3 or 4 times a year. But he was always only home for a long weekend and had to do family stuff.

When he would see the neighborhood friend he would hear stories from the high school August didn’t go to. About people acting out in class, funny moments from the school dances, and how other people he used to be classmates with were doing as they went through their teenage years.

During high school, August and his friend slowly lost contact with each other, never for any specific reason, just due to circumstances.

August and his friend both got into good collages, August got into a somewhat better one than his friend.

They both got through collage in one piece and learned how to live life on their own.

They both found a women that was a mirror image of themselves, married her, and had two kids of their own before 30.

One day, walking near a semi-secluded park they grew up near they saw each other.

They each were not with their wife but had their children with them.

August was on the trail and his old friend was by the lake with his children skipping rocks.

There was a sign that said not to skip rocks.

August stopped, politely talked to his old friend for a few minutes, and made up an excuse of somewhere him and his kids needed to be, despite the fact they were free the rest of the day and walked away.

He didn’t ever feel compelled to swing the conversation towards him and his old friend’s families getting together.

While walking away, he was judging his old friend for allowing his kids to skip rocks and ignoring the sign, thinking of how his friends kids were going to grow up acting like animals and not following the rules.

The End.

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