A family of four was having lunch at the far end of the courtyard; the two children played under the table in a shielded little world of make-believe, while their parents seemed concerned with much more solemn matters up above.
“You know,” I said to Henry, “every time I see a child playing, I have the same feeling—this warm, nostalgic sensation for the days when summers were magical and time itself seemed infinite. You remember that? I mean, as kids we could unlock a world of imagination simply by climbing a tree. We could fantasize about everything, imagine ourselves growing up and doing anything, because the possibilities were endless, you know? We were still young enough not to be laden with thoughts of doubt and meaninglessness. It just made more sense.”
“You speak fondly of childhood. I’ve also noticed it in your writing,” Henry said. “I hope you don’t let it tarnish your experiences in the present. Surely you remember the miserable times of childhood: the braces, the bullies, the heartbreak, the insecurities, the fear of darkness—”