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The park

published: 2009-08-03

As a teenager, my best friend and I would visit Amsterdam about twice a year. We’d walk from Central Station to Leidseplein and somehow always end up in the park, stoned out of our skulls, believing that park was this amazingly huge place for great thinkers such as ourselves. And the guys from Italy that played guitars and bummed all your cigarettes off you.
Ten years later, I live in the city. The park doesn’t seem quite as big anymore and so my friends and I venture out. We find Willow trees in hidden green places. We view the park to be about as magnificently beautiful as Yosemite. That’s only because we’re in love. With eachother, usually, and the park is the perfect place for kissing.
Five years later, I find myself in the rose garden with gay friends. We read and eat olives and drink wine. 
Yet another five years later, I discover the huge amounts of playgrounds. I haven’t even noticed them before. How could I have not? Now, it’s all about the coffee and trying to sneak some chocolate into our mouths without our toddlers noticing.
Today, I biked through the park, whizzed past all the places I’ve been. I considered how the playgrounds too are only temporary. Within, I’ll be sitting my ageing body down on a bench in order to read a book. And I’ll be missing those years. Missing the days that my son would race his Sesame Street bike around the playgrounds.

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