Tonight i was looking through some old writing on my computer and I came a cross an old short story that i had started. I decided to finish it tonight and share it with anyone who still reads this blog.
what follows is a foggy mix of fiction and non-fiction. Looking back and reading what i had already written made me wonder if this came from more than just loving being on top of roofs. It obviously follows a theme but i dont think that was conciously intentional
There is something fascinating about roof tops. Maybe its a guy thing and maybe its not a roof thing but every time I see the top of a building I have a longing to find a way to stand on its roof and share its gaze. This longing, however, must be fulfilled in a particular way. You see if the janitor of the building came to me and offered me passage to the top I may be excited at first but upon decent I would once again be filled with the desire to reach the top. But I already did what difference does it make if I was let up there? This longing will only be satisfied if accomplished by my own means. My real longing surounds the planning and sneaking that is involved in getting to the roof top.
Thus the story goes
I was walking down a hallway much familiar to my feet. Along this hallway is window after window. At about 3pm the sun blazes through each window throwing a long beam of light on the ground every several feet. Today however one of these beams was interrupted. On the ground lay the shadow of a figure, and in the window the owner of the shadow stood. His freshman looking figure stood looking out the window with an intentional gaze. I remember 2 years ago standing in the same window with my eyes beholding the same scene. That of a roof top. I wonder if he has the same intention I did. As I passed by he seemed to notice me. His response was to conceal from me his intentionality. Curiosity grew in me. If he is anything like me, I know where he will be tonight. When the sunbeams are replaced by moon beams he will be on the outside of that window looking in. His gaze says one thing “I am a man with a Plan.”
The idea of knowing his mind leads me to sit under the moonlight and gaze upon a familiar sight. Sitting on a hill overlooking the building I remember back when I was young. I can see from here the only plausible way to the roof: Two little pipes hidden in the shadows cast by the odd shape of the building. I remember my young hands grasping the pipes one by one ascending the side of the building to the roof top. My memories are interrupted by the man with the plan. I say a man only because that is what he sees when he looks in the mirror, but to me he looks more like a boy. Not in his physical appearance rather in his countenance. He is nervous and yet excited. He is driven but lacks focus. He’s on fire, but doesn’t know what to burn. His hands followed the path mine did two years ago. Up the side of the building he climbs. As he reaches the top he looks back toward the road with hesitation in his eyes but soon thrill envelops and he leaves reservation behind. I chuckle inside. I have so many things I wish I could tell him. “It would be more fun with a friend or two.” Followed closely by, “one day you will grow up.” The latter lingered in my head for a bit longer. Maybe he will mature just like I did. I don’t do that kind of thing anymore. Life is about the important things. Things that benefit mankind. Not climbing on roofs.
It had been half an hour and my interest dwindled. In this time he had explored almost the whole roof. The greatest amusement came from watching him as cars past. I remember doing the same thing. I would be running around up there and be dogging beams of car lights that past by.
Days past and this seen was no longer in my mind. I was walking amongst the buildings of the campus and found myself gazing up at the roofs once again. I stopped as my eyes fixated on the tallest building. Every freshman dreams of reaching the top. Maybe im not to old. Maybe growing up doesn’t negate adventure. Suddenly that young desire wells up in me again.
However as I resume my walk I make eye contact with an old man. He is a professor and his long snowy beard tells of his wisdom. Something in his eye takes me off guard. He’s got a familiar look in his eye. If I am anything like him he knows where I will be tonight. He will be sitting on the lawn watching me make my assent.
What he doesn’t know is that I have had the same experience he is having.
Suddenly a new plan comes into mind. Less a plan and more a test. Am I correct? Could I really predict this mans actions? That night the thrill of my foresight was overwhelming. I felt so smart. I had scoped out the best place to watch the tower from. It was a bench that sat on the lawn opposite the tower. From there I found the best hiding place to observe that bench.
There under the cover of the woods I lay and wait. He would show up any minute and sit down on that bench to watch me climb the tower.
But he didn’t.
An hour went by and I was getting cold. Disappointment replaced intrigue. I got up to leave and began walking back to my car. As I passed the tower I look up slightly defeated. But then I see something. I look closer. The white beard glistens in the moonlight. With those wise eyes the old professor watches down from the tower perch, watching me watch him with a slight grin of accomplishment.
Maybe there is more to growing up than young boys dream.