Being a nostalgic individual, there have been a number of manifestations relating to the past that I have dwelt upon, philosophically speaking. One certain philosophy has been on my mind lately: I should cherish every single moment that I have on this Earth, for I will never get it back. At my age (sixteen), some may say that it is unnatural or out of the ordinary for me to think about and accept my own mortality, but personally, I feel that it is better to dwell on such an ominously painful, yet mysterious subject now than in the distant future. My life will be short, just as everybody else’s, and I want to make the best of it; I want to focus my time on things that I can remember until the day that I happen to “kick the bucket,” as some say. Placing morbid feelings aside right now instead of waiting until I reach an elderly age may reduce painful scenarios in the near future.
In Smyrna, Tennessee, last October, my friend, Jesse, finally made his residence there again after residing for four years in Florida. My other friend, Greg, and I had been optimistically anticipating his return right after he moved, as strange as that sounds. His family kept making subtle hints and attempts at moving back, but had only successfully made the trip last October. Upon his arrival, Greg and I were ecstatic. The three of us had finally rejoined!
Even to this day, I can remember the moment Jesse walked through the door of Greg’s dad’s house: Greg and I alike went in the direction of the door in a swift motion to greet him vis-à-vis for the first time in years. We gave our salutations and quickly sat down to inquire about his past life in Florida. He was quite an eloquent speaker, so his stories were as amusing as they were vivid. Being four years to my and Greg’s senior, Jesse was already out of school. But what he had to say was detailed as if his experiences had happened the day before.
Eventually, the three of us would regroup every weekend and do a variety of activities (which would include loitering at convenience stores, watching TV, and playing music) until the weekend came to a swift and inevitable end. We would walk to a gas station, a Kwik Sak, if I can remember correctly, by Greg’s mother’s house at the time and get a nice, hot cup of coffee, which especially happened during the winter. We would also go into his studio and play the same song for a half hour on our instruments—I would play guitar, Jesse on guitar as well and sometimes bass, and Greg would be on drums. After watching that, we would go into Greg’s living room to watch TV. Even that seemed fun and eventful. The times were simple, yet there was a certain sentimental feeling in the air while these mindless antics were going on. We thought it would never end.
Just as any great span of time, our memorable times eventually did come to a close. The first indication of this was when Greg’s mother got married and their family moved. Although they were still in Smyrna, a few problems had arisen: the geographic location was not near any stores, nor were we able to play any music (the latter was allowed with restriction until the police were called by a neighbor on an accusation of noise disturbances). Both of those activities made up around 80 percent of what we did on the weekends. The second problem is that Greg’s new family members were not the type of people that we would normally associate ourselves with. It was almost as if the only person in the house who did not oppose the new side of the family was Greg’s mother.
The inadequacies that were mentioned proved disastrous, for we ended up going to my house on the weekends instead, which was usually vacant at that time because my brother was in Fairview visiting his dad and my mother was in Clarksville visiting her boyfriend. The times were good over there since we had a lot of freedom. We spent most of our time walking or recording music as usual—mostly acoustic music since there was not a set of drums at my house. A lot of good times were spent there until I moved.
Greg’s dad’s house was also a prime destination. He gave us a lot of freedom as well since we never did anything wrong or unlawful. His house was also near a lot of stores and restaurants, so we were always busy shopping or dining. To make things better, we were also able to play music there. We would record a lot over there as well, especially if we had any good ideas on our minds.
The turning point in everything was when I moved to Clarksville on May 30 of 2013. Around February, I knew our days were numbered when it came to hanging out often since I was informed I was moving around that time, but things really started to go downhill in late May. As we started to pack the moving truck, I just could not help feeling depressed at the fact that my best friends and I were not going to be ‘hanging out’ a lot any more, especially considering that I have known Greg almost my entire life. He was somewhat oblivious to the fact that we were not going to be seeing each other much often anymore, but Jesse was aware. He knew that this was going to happen, so we then decided to plan how we would tell Greg.
Jesse really wanted to tell Greg the problem, especially while I was down in Florida visiting my father. While I was there, he would tell me about how bleak his experience there was without me present. It was not a good feeling on my part or his. Greg, still unbeknownst to the real problem of the situation, had no problem with what they were doing, for he spent most of his time just watching TV even when we were not there.
When we really decided that we had to tell him was when Jesse became employed. He got a job to help fund his life and future. When Greg found out, he tried to make any and every type of compromise he could, although most of them sounded very unrealistic. He tried to arrange times for us to come over in the middle of the week, which obviously conflicted all of our schedules.
We told him about a month later that times were changing and things were not going to be the same. Surprisingly, he took the news with ease. I don’t think he understood, though. Even after we explained to him our conflict, he still tried to make compromises. What made us feel better is that at least we told him what was on our minds. He will get it one day, and hopefully it will be sooner than never since we told him instead of him having to figure such a painful truth out.
In conclusion, I think it is best to cherish good times, or a good span of time, because it will never be brought back or relived. I will never get the time back that I spent with them, and I have finally learned that that is okay; I am content with that fact that I will one day be on my deathbed only having experienced those very positive times only once. Those times would never have been as good if they were to have kept happening every weekend for the rest of my life. What I have also learned from this experience is that my life is good. As ironic as it may seem for me to conclude with this small epiphany, it is true, nevertheless. Notwithstanding the fact that the truth I had to bear was painful, I was able to figure out that my life is good because it made me grateful for the things I have in my life. Friendship is not just a material span of time spent with that person, it is deeper than that. It is on an internal level as well in a sense that my impression of Greg and Jesse will never change or fade away from here on out, as well as their impression of me being the same forevermore. I can go on a hiatus—waiting a span of ten years without talking to them—and we will still talk as if we were all together the day before. My philosophy would have a meaning then because they will still cherish the amount of great times we had together, regardless of how long it had been since we had last seen each other.
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