Inspired by: Bob Dylan’s Dream
On a rainy, June day, Ein Quin rode the Metro around Beacon. While riding West, the combination of clacking wheels and the light rain on the windows put him to sleep. He dreamt of his teenage years in the Lehigh Valley and the summers he spent with his friends.
They grew up in Catasauqua, Pennsylvania, which is a virtually forgotten borough just north of Allentown. In 1776, one of its townsfolk signed the declaration of independence. In the 1840s, the first blast furnaces in North America were built in their town. The burgeoning industrial revolution and pig iron industry made Catty incredibly wealthy. That was all a lifetime ago, and a chip many residents still carry on their shoulders whether they realize it or not.
Ein and his friends spent much of their free time on the third floor of a Victorian mansion built a century ago. Together, they played any number of video games, had LAN parties, rearranged furniture. They put together a pool table and set up musical instruments in the basement.
As high school came to an end, none of them feared for what life might be like when they no longer saw each other every day. One of them joined the navy and became the first to leave. Another played for his college football team and went to begin practicing. The last two became college roommates and spent another couple of years together, but their relationship soon grew apart.
It’s been several years since Ein has seen any of them, over a decade for one of them. He woke up and wondered what he could have done differently. Or if this is the way the world is designed. You find friends to help you cope while life is changing the most rapidly. Then as you grow up, you go separate ways and never see each other again. Can you return to a point when you knew someone so instinctively you knew what they were going to say before they said it?
Of his three friends, Ein was perhaps the least equipped for the real world. His friendships were built slowly and under particular circumstances. He was like a piece of coal squeezed for thousands of years at hundreds of degrees and eventually became a diamond. He couldn’t strike up conversations with randos and make plans with them next week. He coped by moving away and retreating inward. A strategy he’s learning now has some serious flaws.
Ein didn’t think he was entirely at fault. He didn’t burn any bridges with any of them, but he certainly helped neglect them until they fell apart. Living alone in this city, he was beginning to realize never was very good at forming friendships. He needed to be forced into a friendship like a horse being broken. In the long run, he’ll be thankful, but initially, he fights it with every fiber of his being.
At least he had BC now, cats are fast friends as long as there’s food.