(fifteen years ago) the speed of time

Time’s a funny thing.

For the first twenty-four years of my life, today’s date was just a date. But fifteen years ago, it became important.

Fifteen years ago, I stood at an altar. For the regular reasons.

(eighteen years ago) Surrounded by throngs of married and engaged law students, I thought I was going to die alone, and it terrified me.

(fifteen years ago) I wore a tuxedo and said “I do” in a Catholic Church, and no lightning touched down upon our heads.

(twenty years ago) As a college sophomore I played video games and then went home and touched myself too many times.

(fifteen years ago) We danced to a song that took much too long to choose and sometimes now I can’t immediately remember what it was called.

(twenty-two years ago) I had a 1984 Chrysler Fifth Avenue and rolled up the sleeves on my T-shirts. Sometimes I stapled them so they’d stay.

(fifteen years ago) I gave into tradition for the last time as my best friend from college walked down the aisle as a bridesmaid instead of a groomswoman.

(twenty-four years ago) I cried about unrequited love and punched holes in my walls.

(fifteen years ago) Friends from each stage in my life drank and laughed with each other as they toasted my future.

(twenty-eight years ago) I snapped a girl’s bra strap and my dad said “Boys will be boys,” because he knew I’d eventually turn into a respectful man.

(fifteen years ago) I didn’t drink, but the night was still a drunken blur.

(thirty years ago) I devoured every book I could find and found whole new worlds worthy of exploration.

(fifteen years ago) We were too tired to consummate our marriage, and nobody noticed that giant red flag flapping in the air.

(thirty-two years ago) My parents burst with pride at my intelligence and precociousness, not realizing how unbearable it might become.

(fifteen years ago) I said I did, even though I showed I couldn’t.

(thirty-four years ago) I was the only male child, and I liked it.

(fifteen years ago) We started a new life with a terminal lifespan.

(thirty-six years ago) We moved to Florida from Boston and ate Raisin Bran for dinner, which amazed me at three years old.

(fifteen years ago) I hadn’t evolved from someone who knew everything to someone who knew he didn’t.

(thirty-eight years ago) My parents loved me fiercely without reservation, and haven’t stopped.

(fifteen years ago) I danced with my mother as she cried and took my face in both of her hands and kissed me.

(forty years ago) My mother looked at herself in the mirror and wondered what I’d be like when I arrived in three months.


(one year after my divorce) My best friend took me to dinner and wore a long blonde wig so, as he said, “I would feel like Amy was still there and wouldn’t be sad.”

Adam Avitable and his best friend in 2010

Time’s a funny thing.

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