we moved to a housing development called "water's edge", an aspirationally evocative name even though the water that we were on the edge of was a rainfall retention pond. there were lots of those in our town, a suburb built on a coastal plain over historical swampland. our basement walls always trickled. whose basement walls don't?

my age fell in an awkward gap between kids too young for me to care about and kids too old to care about me, but one of our neighbors decided we could hang out when he realized i'd stereotypically help him with his math homework. his parents wouldn't let him out until the homework was done, so i was motivated to walk him through carrying x's from one side of the equality to the other until we were released to roam the streets.

sometimes, it would be dusk by the time i managed to spring him, the sky too dim for us to creep through the undergrowth of everyone's backyards without getting tangled in thornbushes or accidentally stepping in dog poop. we'd sit on the stormdrain overlooking the pond and throw rocks into the sky, where bats circled overhead looking for food. they'd catch the rocks with their screeches, chasing parabolas until the splash into the pond signaled that they'd been tricked. i'd draw parabolas on a graphing calculator, later, just often enough for my teacher to stop looking at what i was furiously typing, before going back to writing games on the clumsy keyboard of my ti-89.


10 April 2018 22:18

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