He grabbed the handlebars of the Razor Scooter and tried to plow her into the chain link fence.
She laughed. She laughed and tried to pull away, leaning to make the Razor fall out of its descent into the chain link. Then, as her shoulders pulled left and his pulled right, they touched.
Then her shoulders stopped pulling to the left. Then his shoulders stopped pulling to the right. Then their shoulders concluded the sad pantomime of pulling her into the fence. The two stepped a few half-steps forward. They stopped. They turned toward each other and her arms locked around his waist.
His locked around her shoulders. Against the fence they kissed and kissed. He was still wearing his charter school uniform.
They took off running, her left hand in his, his left hand dragging the abandoned Razor behind him. They ran, half skipped, by me as I wandered west on Chicago Avenue. They laughed and joked and said flirty things. I knew what they were saying down to the syllable even though I don’t speak a word of Spanish.
No one’s going to win any prizes guessing what fascinates us about young lovers. They’re us. They’re always us.
They’re us as we were 10, 20, 30, 40 years ago, canoodling with the person we think of sometimes late at night. Or with the person we think of sometimes late at night because they’re snoring and farting again and we have to get up early in the morning.
Young lovers are us as we want to be and as we were now and again. They’re the moments we realize nostalgia sometimes was accurate.
They’re the moments that make us wish we were young again.
I can feel my mother’s eyes crinkle in laughter at this, at me wishing I were young. I am young, of course I am. And when I walk arm in arm with my girl, pushing and teasing and testing out nicknames (I’m currently experimenting with “Professor Hot”), I’m as giddy as a schoolboy, as gay as a high school choir director.
And 45 year olds look at me and laugh at the young. And 60 year olds laugh at them. And those pushing 80, 90, 100 smile toothless grins and chuckle softly at the foolishness and joy of all of us.
But that’s the point of young love, of the boy and girl running hand in hand east on Chicago Avenue chirping sweet nothings en Español. They make us realize what young fools we are, no matter how old we might be.