I’ve known my oldest friends since daycare and Kindergarten, though, we didn’t become a close-knit group until the fourth grade. Bonding over shining the sun's reflections into people's eyes, Jolly Ranchers, and getting into trouble. That was a magical year that we lived minute by minute to the end.
Over the next five years we went from an odd almost-innocent rule breaking to smoked cigarettes, eaten pills, and swallowed cough syrup. During breaks, lunch and recess we did our drugs, vandalized everything we could vandalize, and one day lit a fire. The authoritarians focused on our misdeeds, rightly so, but we also became bohemian poets before we had any idea what those words meant. It was almost a scene, we had a style, bestowed knowledge on younger kids and accepted every chance to feel oppressed. We were so out there compared to what the school had ever seen before that they felt forced to underpin it with new rules.
We were an island and then we were islands unto ourselves, two of us were born on islands, and that never left us. It may have been our folly to believe that the good times would last forever, but it also may have been the only thing that made the good times great. There was that sense of unbelievable understanding, the idea that if you stood on a lake at night, the stars would become yours, the black sky was no longer black but a shade of blue and rest was just around the corner, redemption was not needed because we were the redemption.
But it was our folly in hope, the mountain we made and crumbled but never moved until it was in enough pieces that we could stuff it into our pockets and take with us. We spread the mountain, its snow melted to give water to the thirsty and the rocks provided footing for the unpaved paths. I still carry the mountain, I will always carry it, and if that means I will never walk on water again, then so be it. The knowing cannot float, rocks of knowledge will suck us down into the lake until there is only black and no rest sates us. These were our ramparts, our remnants, the mountain turned out to be a volcano and we were its lava.