The old rusty playground stares me in the face.
As I inch closer to the structure, a sense of happiness and comfort rushes over me. This was my home for so many years. I used to pretend that the slide was the entrance to my kingdom, and the swings were rocketships needed to transfer people to other planets. I used to pretend that the wood chips were hot lava, one step on them and you would be a goner. My head was a large map, as I knew my way around the entire structure, every edge, every bump. With my eyes closed, I could proudly scale the castle in less than a minute. When I wasn’t alone, my friends and I would laugh, sing, and dance for hours on end. It was my favorite place on earth, the one place where nothing else mattered. There were so many good times spent here, so many memories. But as I stand here now, I also feel a sense of sorrow. I feel so old now, so outdated. My presence is no longer needed. But, for old times sake I decide to take a trip down memory lane.
My first stop is the swings. A small breeze begins to pick up and the swings start swaying from side to side. I listen to the unwanted sound of rust against old metal. Sitting down in the rusty black seat, I try to ignore the uncomfortable position that I am in. Pumping my legs faster and faster, the air begins to rush through my arms and legs. Memories begin to flood back and I am struck with the sad sensation that this swing will not stay here forever. Soon, it will be gone, dragging the good times with it. But, before I get caught up in my own thoughts my mind wanders back to where it is now. The swing. The height at which I currently hold, is getting more and more daunting. Before my mind has time to think my feet begin picking up more and more speed until I am flying in the air. As my feet hit the ground I stumble a bit and hit the hard, rough wood chips. Blood comes from my knee, but my tough instincts tell myself to ignore the pain.
I move on to my second destination, the structure. Once my feet begin to climb up the wobbly steps, my hands begin to feel the little bits of paint slowly chipping away, piece by piece. When I finally reach the top I admire my surroundings. A pirate wheel sits to my left and a large slide sits to my right. Due to my love of slides, my instincts lead me to the right. The air inside the tunnel is warm, and a familiar smell reaches the tip of my nose. My hands gravitate towards the two handles on either side of the slide, and my body pushes itself off into oblivion. The length of the slide stretches on longer than I had imagined, everything feels like a dream. When the light at the end of the tunnel begins to shine through, I know that the ride is over. Looking down to the ground I near the edge of the slide, and jump feet first.
The final stop is the tire swing. As I near the tire hovering above a circular shape of wood chips, my eyes notice a few thin strips of tire beginning to wear away. I imagine the number of kids who have sat on this swing, the countless friendships and bonds that have been formed in this very spot. I imagine my best friend and I swinging around and around, telling jokes and sharing stories. Oh how much fun we had on this old worn down piece of rubber. Bringing myself back into reality my mind shifts gears and decides to hop off the ground and jump up onto the tire swing. Turning around and around, my stomach begins to lurch. In just a matter of minutes I am on again, off again until finally my senses come to a stop.
After I have finished exploring all this small little playground has to offer, my walk home begins. I walk past the structure, in which I have encountered many fights within my pretend castle. I walk past the slide in which carried me through a dream filled tunnel. I walk past the swings that held me in the air for as long as gravity would allow, and finally, I walk past the tire swing in which my friendships and secrets were based upon. Before leaving, my head spins around and I stare the old rusty playground in the face.