Stay Young Die Pretty

Ealier tonight...
I'm standing in Jimmy John's in Highland Park, waiting for my sandwich. The guy behind the counter is staring at my sweatshirt, trying to figure it out. Over in the corner are three kids. If it were the 90s they would be called "alternateens." One dude,a skater with a bandanna holding his mop down, and two girls; both with tight pants and and vans slip-ons. All of them rocking iPods, of course. They're giggling and shit and having a good time. I keep getting distracted by the Jimmy John dude looking intently at my sweatshirt. He wants to ask what it is but doesn't. I finally get my country club and pickle spear and head out, deciding the guy will just have to wonder for now. The skater dude is leaving too. Once outside the door, he plugs in his ear buds, hops on his board and pushes off. He doesn't make it to the end of the block before one of the chicks comes running up from behind us, yelling. "Matt, hey Matt!" He stops and yanks out an ear bud. "Yeah, what's up?" She smiles "Casey really didn't want you to leave. She was all like 'Why does he have to leave?' And I'm all like 'Do you want me to run after him right now and tell him you don't want him to leave?' And she was all like 'Oh Gawd, please!' So here I am, telling you she doesn't want you to leave." At this point I've got a huge grin on my face. I am absolutely loving that I got witness this shit. Some things just take you back, ya know. I turn the corner and jump in the car, where Courtney is waiting for me. Excitedly I begin to recount to her what I had just seen. We are both gushing over how damn cute "the kids" can be and what a precious time it is to be a teenager. Just then Matt the skater goes rolling by. I'm sooo disappointed. "Awww man, he must not have gone back in." We pull away and as we pass by him I start to ponder reasons he why he didn't go back in. "Perhaps he doesn't like Casey? Maybe he likes Casey's friend and he was excited when she came running, only to realize that it wasn't her that wanted him to stay? Then again, why was Casey's friend so eager to go after him? Hmmm. And what about Casey, when she found out Matt wasn't coming back?" I wanted this story to have a happy ending. All of a sudden Love Will Tear Us Apart, by Joy Division-one of my favorite songs ever-comes on the radio! "Ok, this must mean something." I say, as I turn the radio up. "Maybe Matt knows better. Maybe he knows something we don't." A few blocks later were parked, and I'm pulling my bike out of the back of Courtney's car, when I hear the unmistakable sound of a skateboard coming up from behind me. I look up and sure enough, it's the skater dude, Matt, gliding down the middle of the street. As if he could read my mind, he looks over, waives to me and says "Hey." I wave back and for just a second, a silent language is spoken between us. He was better off not going back in. He rides off into the night and I guess I'm happy enough with how this story ends.

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