Old Stomping Grounds

That letter dropped in the mail, got me another summons,

Been ten years since the last, a return to the courthouse loomin’,

Same ol’ setting, in The ‘Riff, been a second home for a decade,

Had worked here previously, just down the road, hence the sense of familiarity,

Making my way, memories flooding back, the good and the bad,

Ten years a slave for the taxman but made me some serious bank,

Got me through tertiary, funded several trips abroad,

Wasn’t an exciting gig but on some days low-key kinda missing it,

Same sentiments thinking ‘bout the rest, of former stomping grounds from yesteryear,

The ‘Riff, Abbotsford, Ol’ Ash and the CBD, the site of many a good memory,

Back when troubles seemed far away like Sir Paul sang about, feeling free and on top as though among the clouds,

Forgive the cliché, but they were the best of times,

Better work-life-balance, far less worries, had me some friends, felt like the prime of life,

Before society began to hate over trivialities and differences, no fear of being canned,

Life aged in the late twenties and early thirties, couldn’t get better than that,

Old enough to do your own thing, young enough, still, to feel optimistic, seemed like the party was never-ending.

Forgive the cliché, but as they say, time brings about change,

Nothing lasts forever, we’re onto the next phase,

Off went that cushy gig at The ‘Riff, with it any semblance of steady employment,

Visits to Abbotsford and Ol’ Ash dwindling, the CBD the new place for hanging,

For working and training, too, socialising and the rest,

Then the decade turned, that all-powerful bug put the world to the test,

Brace yourself, here comes the crash, the glory era on the floor in smithereens,

So begins the next chapter, can’t say it’s all too appealing.

The world put on hold but somehow kept on turning,

Locked down for a year or two to keep the beast from spreading,

Yearning for normalcy upon release, of what had once been,

Sadly, it was never happening, gotta keep on moving,

Lost that gig in the city, extended absence was the cause,

Back on the road alone, friendships can only put up with for so long extended periods without contact, of feeling hazed, frozen out and ignored,

Of all the different crafts to be mastered, losing people just had to be it,

Everyone goes away, in the end, but the man in the mirror played his part in it,

And with ‘em went the good times once enjoyed with ‘em,

I guess it’s a fresh page we’re writing but goddamn, why didn’t they serve a fucking warning?

Back at The ‘Riff, in the present, after being away for some time,

Traipsing through familiar ground, towards the courthouse, nostalgia roaring back to mind,

Many changes made, physically, can’t expect it to stay the same,

Modernized to keep up with times, refurbished buildings, maybe a few knockdown-rebuilds,

Some hit hard by that mass lockdown, they just couldn’t keep up,

Adjust or be left behind, some chose the latter and got ate up,

Feeling a sense of melancholy over what had once been, was it real or just a dream?

But in truth time has an expiry, can’t hold on to ‘em for eternity,

The ‘Riff is history, Ol’ Ash and Abbotsford in the rear-view mirror,

Might still drop by the CBD, but for a whole new other purpose,

No more training, sparring and teaching, the best damn gig ever,

All good things come to an end, pain and change the only fucking constants,

But what’s it they say? Be like water and go with the flow?

The stubborn and fearful end up drownin’ while those that flow stay afloat,

Time to put it into practice, set a target and go for it,

Never know what you can get, like Forrest said, life’s a box of chocolates,

Can’t forget the past, they’re set in stone, look back on them fondly,

As you continue on the road ahead, go create bigger and better memories.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *