Thursday, October 29, 2009

Yay FUN!

"Can I climb on the monkey bars? You kids don't know who you're talkn' to." I smiled back at the all the pairs of watchfull eyes. Time to show them my amazing monkey bar agility. Sure, it has been a while since circumstances demanded that I hurl my body into a volley of acrobatics but it's just like riding a bike right? All those hours of playing spiderman as a kid are about to count for something.

"Are you Ok?" Im barely able to see with the sun glaring down at me. Several munchkin silouettes tower over me. They share giggles. I envy them. What happened to me? Im only 23. I thought it was 40 before things went down hill. I get up and brush the sand off of me. Not only have I embarassed myself in front of all these kids, but now I have to face the fact that I am much more out of shape than i thought. Amber smiles up at me from under a Dora the explorer cap. "Kyle your silly."
"Amber. I want you to promise me that you will enjoy the monkey bars while you can. Your 9 years old and you still have a long time before life sucks. So play everyday. "

Since starting this job, its been one painful realization after another. From 9 until 5 these kids are under our supervision . We keep them busy all day with dodgeball and duck duck goose. They never stop going. Where are they getting this energy from? Everynow and then they decide to gang up on me. IF anyone reading this is considering having children then let me give fair warning, they may be cute, but they are darn painful. They attack from all sides with pokes and pinches. The jump on me for piggy back rides and pull my shirt until it stretches. I usually manage to keep them away for a minute or two. It doesn't take long though, until my throat starts to burn, and my chest starts to throb. After that, I get overwhelmed in a tsunami of little devils tearing at me like a hoard of pirrahnas. If you have ever seen the Simpsons where Homer is getting pummeled with deviled eggs after all the kids chase him down, and he is to winded to fight back, that is kinda how I feel everyday I work at the playground.

At least I have fun. Nobody my age is ever interested in playing hide and go seek anymore. They just want to drink. What a long and strange process that the idea of fun gradually turns from games when we are kids to drinking when we are adults. Let me give an example of a conversation I have had at least a dozen times with at least a dozen different friends over the last year.

"Hey we should do something this weekend!"Says I.
"Yeah, we should all get together and drink at my place," says friend.
"Ok. yeah. Sure, but what do you want to do?" I reply.
"What do you mean? Were gonna Drink!"

No wonder these kids are running circles around me. They have a lot more practice at it. I remember being a kid and building snowforts to have snowball fights in. I remember riding bikes in search of adventure. I remember building spaceships out of cardboard boxes or playing in my friends treehouse. Those were amazing times. Strangely, I seem to remember those images more clearly then all my weekends during high school and onward. Somewhere in between childhood and adulthood we lose sight of what having fun really means. When I work with these kids I get reminded each day that fun means playing and laughing. Fun means games and friends. At some point , my friends and I stopped having fun and just started drinking. Actually, let me use another word; 'Partying.' From early puberty onward, it is ingrained into our heads that Partying is the greatest thing a person can hope to achieve. If a person wants to be a somebody they have to attend Parties. Well, since partying is such an important right of passage among our people then perhaps someone can please tell me what partying means? So far from what I have experienced, all it seems to mean is "everyone get obnoxiously intoxicated and dance badly!" If I have a pet peeve it is when someone shouts the word "Party!" Please, please do us all a favour and shut the hell up!

I miss having fun, REAL fun, not that imitation fun that needs to be chemically induced. I make the last loop and pull my laces tight. A few quick stretches first. It's October now, still a long way untill the summer playground. Plenty of time. This isn't so bad. The cold autumn air quickly enters and quits my lungs. Sweat starts to trickle and tickle my temple. One leg in front of the other, one two, one two. Its only a few more i pod songs and then shower time. hmmm...A thought just occured to me. Where is the nearest park with a jungle gym, i still got a few months until summer.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

ying yang

Where is this place? Oh well im sure I'll find it. I have been to Res. before, although I dont have much time to party these days. That reminds me I still have to finish a paper for thursday. Thats Ok, I can start working on it between classes tomorrow at the Argus. That way I still have time to edit it a few times tomorrow night. Ok I think this is it. Yeah thats him. Definately him. there is no mistaking that head of hair. He might actually be cute if he got cleaned up a little. I gotta clear my stuff of the seat for him.

Rain spatters over the windsheild blurring the nightlights of the city. "Lord almighty, Learn to drive!" I was not expecting this girl to have road rage. Those glasses of hers are perched on the the bridge of her nose and she scans the road like an eagle scans the water. She points with her left hand " That is the street where my Grandmother lives. She is really really religious. She is crazy strict like you wouldn't believe. One time ..." There she goes again. I haven't heard about this grandmother yet but I have been given a lot stories so far. Each new landmark or street sign is the title for another story. I wonder if she is just babbling nervously or just a really friendly motormouth. I have been reading her since I got in the car and I can tell she has been doing the same.
"So where are you from?"She asks. I'll let her take the lead, that will give me the chance to think of questions.
"Elliot Lake. It is a small town and it is full of seniors."
"Oh I have heard of Elliot Lake. Do you know .....?" I hate playing the you know so and so game especially when dealing with my home town. I suppose Have to bite the bullet. The sooner get this out of the way the sooner we can have a real conversation.

He seems quiet. This might go better if i can get him to say more than a few words at a time. Uh Oh! I hate drivers in this town. Don't they realise how stupid that kind of stuff is? What if someone gets killed. People sometimes, lord Joseph. I wanted to go to the Java hut but its packed, oh well I can cut across to memorial and go to Chapters. The sooner the better cause it would be nice to have a conversation face to face. That might get him to open up more.

Twenty minutes later and we have managed to find a coffee shop with a free table this time. Luckily we didnt get wet on the way from her car. Star bucks is crowded and murmurs with chatter. She wraps her peacoat around a chair and I sit across from her. I wonder what this girl's issues are? Everyone's got some. She pulls out a small tape recorder and places it ontop of her notepad.
"Do you mind if i tape you?"
"No not at all," I give it a litte goofy arrogance. My humour is what usually wins out. Well, until people found out how screwed up I am. As soon as we start talking family it will snowball from there. My parents split, I hate my dad and we are anything but a functional model family.
I get comfortable and layout my things. He sits slouched in across from me. His eyes complete with dark circles seem to gaze at nothing. I wonder what the burden he carries could be. I hope he does ok. I wonder if his father was the devil like mine? Well lets get this started shall we...