I miss the good old days with my brother and cousin. Sometimes, when I am at home, late at night, and wonder what led me down this road. I open up my wallet, digging past the cards with capitalism written on it; dodging the tools that I don’t need at the time, and search for one thing: my old polaroid photo of us.
We were at Santa Monica, for one of our trips. We decided to go there for the weekend to go and get away from the city life. It was me, my brother, my cousin, my dad, and my uncle. I remember I brought my polaroid in my Junior year of high school, inspired by one of my childhood crushes that lived down the street from me, as I wanted to capture moments in my life. I asked dad to take the photo, as I coaxed my brother and cousin to pose at the pier’s bars. We stood there, looking out at the ocean, and all of its vast possibilities.
Looking back on it, I somewhat wish that we were looking forward at the camera, to preserve our expressions in that time. But I think it was better that we didn’t see the camera eye to eye. We were looking out at the sea. I always associate the sea with more opportunity and knowledge, as the waters of the world proceeded life. The ocean doesn’t need us; we need the ocean, we need water, we need life. We keep reaching out to it, keep adventuring to understand it. Water can survive on its own; its system perpetuating itself across all time. And now, only losing to the people who need it the most.
I miss the days of us spending the day at home. Cameron, my cousin, bringing his Wii Remotes with his copy of Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaiichi 2 and 3. I remember him putting his disc into the Wii, and syncing all of our controllers together. I remember Jared, my brother, playing anime openings from shows we all watch and spending countless hours playing against the computer in the highest difficulty. I remember always reading the computer’s movements, knowing when to dodge, but not warning my brother or my cousin because I was second-guessing myself in my judgments.
I miss the bike rides we would always go on. We would ride for hours, talking about whatever we wanted and going where ever we felt. I remember Cameron always making wide turns, almost going into traffic, sometimes making cars swerve around him. I remember getting my first rode bike, and testing it out on a bike ride with Cameron. Dad didn’t adjust the brakes right, and I couldn’t stop in time, so I slammed into Cameron and was flung onto the ground. Luckily, he was okay, and that was my main fear. Not that I would get hurt, I knew that I was okay; my fear was that the times we spent would be gone for good.
My brother, my cousin, and I were all like brothers. I can’t tell you how many times we spent with each other. How many stories we built with each other, with their lore and meaning. A lot of my personal ways of viewing life were built on how we spent our days together. I never realized how much of my mindset was founded by those experiences with them. So when I spend my late nights, staring at my computer screen, racking my brain for ideas for my papers, I know why I keep going. I don’t want to let them down. I was our navigator, I had to know how to get from point A to point B to point C. They depended on me; they trusted me. I’ll make sure I’ll navigate us through life, and when we reach a stopping point, we’ll spend another day together, and take in that fresh air our younger selves always breath in. And I’ll hold that breath in as long as possible, its clean air filtering out all the anxieties of being an adult and enjoying life how I did with them.