|Push comes to Shove|
When I was a kid I can remember the way winters were. Sledding, snow ball fights, winter break, Christmas, snow angels and snow men. I used to walk to the K-mart that was down the road from my house. The city sidewalks were trenches cut out of the snow and ice. I never had any money to spend but me and my brothers would just go there to look around and maybe if we were lucky we'd have enough for a frozen coke to share or some sorta taco roll thing that was so fucking good that thinking of it now makes me want one. When we were bored at K-mart we'd play a game my older brother Dale invented which was, lets see how long it takes to get thrown out of here! We'd all start throwing footballs across the store and diving to catch them knocking over displays and just causing a huge commotion. There were security guards to chase us around and flash K-mart security badges. We had no respect for security guards or really cops even. It wasn’t long before me and my brothers were banned from every store and restaurant near us.
When we werent being thrown out of places we were stirring up shit in the neighborhood. Fucking neighborhood wars with the Puerto Ricans were always a good way to pass the time. We were either at war with them or we were all the best of friends. It was all just something to pass the fucking time ya know. Deep down we loved each other. We’ve been the worst of enemies, the best of friends, and even lovers to each other. We still talk even now. When my dad died it was the kids who waged war with me back in the day that came to cry with my family. One of them once said that no friends are ever the same as the ones you grew up loving and hating. He was right even though he was drunk off his ass at the time.
There was a hill at the end of our street. A woman named Perry lived in the house on the top of the hill and our street was named Perry St..so all us kids just assumed it was named after her because she was so old. She didn’t like us thinking that. We spent our winters sledding down that hill and a lot of the fall playing war on it. We used to stay out well past dark sledding on that hill. I don’t know what it is about growing older but when I was a kid I never noticed the cold like I do now. I guess yer just too busy having fun. I remember one year we built a huge snowman on Mrs. Perry's hill. My brothers Dale and Mark ended up adding a huge dick to it later on. Mrs. Perry wasn’t amused and called my mom on us. Everyone where I lived knew my moms phone number and knew us. I hated that. We were always getting into trouble and everyone knew just by the way we looked who we were because my mother grew up in the old house we lived in and all these old people knew her." We looked like Deems", they would always say. Sometimes they would just call and say some boys did X and they looked like Deems and my parents would be like, yeah that sounds like them.
I also remember after all the fun and all the trouble sitting in front of the heater thawing out. All of our shoes and boots in a pile on the soaked carpet from melted snow. My grandma bringing us hot chocolate and Dale coffee. The kids that didn’t have gloves always used socks on their hands to keep warm so there was always a lot of socks mixed in with the boots, gloves, hats, and shoes.When I was a kid a winter like this one, with hardly any snow, was something to complain about. I loved snow when I was a kid It was something to play in and if you were really lucky they would cancel school. Where I lived it had to be some epic blizzard to cancel school though. My father never canceled chores however so we always had to shovel the walk and drive way regardless of how cold or how bad it was out. Now when it snows all I think is what a mess really. But there’s a part of me that smiles and thinks I should go sledding! The last time I went sledding I was fucking 30! hahaha. But I still impressed all the kids on the hill with my fearless idiocy. Well almost all the kids, the ones I borrowed the sled from that shattered on impact after pulling off a crazy jump were only impressed til they saw their sled was ruined! The surest way to a little boys heart is to do something dangerous and dumb but live to tell. Lots of hot moms on the hill that day. Rick and I were heroes for a moment then.
I wonder if kids even sled anymore. I bet they play video games about sledding. I know they play video games about sports, instead of playing sports. They play video games about war, instead of playing war. If I had a kid I wouldn’t buy them any video games. I'd be like, “Go outside and play!” I’m sure they would cry and think I was the biggest child abuser. I’m sure I sound like a grumpy old man with my whole, “These kids these days!” But I really feel like its different. The things I did as a kid my older brothers did, my father did, his father did and his father before him did. All the kids I know now do nothing but sit around on a computer or an Xbox or whatever. Its fucked up.
I’m glad I grew up where I did and when I did.