Do you remember wee youth…the streets we were not supposed to know about…the dark ended streets…the girls to whom we would slip away…hearts beating, blood racing?
…Grown weary, and sorely so, of eggheads’ conversation on politics and how to save the nation, I think tonight of youth misspent and–very much–perhaps desperately so–missed now–now when it’s too late to do anything–too late to misspend her all over again.
…The nation, I suppose can be saved. Oh, yes she can be. But who can save youth? Who can turn the clock back to a time when passion was really hot and things actually mattered so very much more so than they now ever could matter today? Who can do that–who can recover–youth–for me?
…King’s ransoms buy crowns of gold, empires, silks, scarlet satins and flashy ornaments of colored stones but, from what vendor, down what street and for what price can I buy back youth–now that she is spent–now that she has flown?
…Remember when you still had a pulse—one that worked—on its own—and you spent your nights going down streets you were not even supposed to know the names of…….
..To see girls who you absolutely were not supposed to know about? Well, do ya? Do ya? Maybe some of you do not. In fact, I know some of you do not. Maybe most. Poor dears. Poor devils. Poor wretches. What do you remember now that youth has fled us?
..For those of us who do remember, this was what we whispered to those girls we absolutely were not supposed to know about, when we first went down those streets–hardly knowing where we were going–going for a bit of the other:
…And later, when those streets became our, singular, consuming passion, when good boys from home–well-behaved boys–back home in white bread wonderland–were prepping to go up to Haa-vad and Yah-el, and wondering where was Johnnie—where was he—Johnnie was here and all:
..today, this evening, remembering youth and it’s burning passions–that lead down streets I was not even supposed to know the names of–I ask–where did those days go–and why–do you remember those days? Some of my friends don’t remember–they never knew to forget–but I do–I do not forget youth–youth–wherefore art thou, most beauteous of friend–most virile and yet, most fragile of flower? Wherefore art thou now, in the cold numbness of greying, advancing, age with no dark streets to go down, no girl I was never supposed to know about to slip away with?
Posted by Miss Ava Lavinia Gardner, Executive Assistant to Mr. Begg himself.