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Living Room1991

The living room glowed, specks of dust gracefully drifting through the beams of light hovering by the window panes. The grey chair, big soft chair, a place to read books. Nothing compared to the time spend in these worlds yet the world most sacred and most missed is the one that time removed. It has left with the child who once occupied it. The room has filled up with the voices of many and has now been silenced once more, this time having lost its golden glow. Perhaps the glow will return to it one day, when another child finds it to be a formative space, a part of their self.

Behind the Shopping Plaza2001

I walk behind the shopping plaza. Plotting the next step, no, waiting for nothing then. Sunset brought out cold air, dry leaves underfoot. Distant train calls and blinking red lights on cable towers. I spent days on the loading bays testing my mettle with skateboard. Fear of pain and self dismemberment kept me from most things. More precious to me was the solitary sanctum of discipline. A place to think, to grow, to empty myself of chaos, to dig in dumpsters, to burn and to break, to take me back to my home.

Js' Backyards1999

A child's kingdom walled in by low income rental properties. Alley rats sleeping on trashed furniture subsisting on fruit punch and pop tarts. The joy was real. Just as real was the pain and heartache of alcoholism and abuse. Music videos and super nintendo in a stuffed animal bunk bed lounge. I remember when you tried to impale me with rebar and smashed the plastic slide in your backyard. Shuddering, groaning like the horror movie heroes you revered. Raw energy, hatred, love, friendship, youth. Kickball games ended in WCW wrestling matches and 'POOP' scrawled on a garage wall in the the very same. This freedom and family: a gift rarely afforded to children of the white and wealthy.

The Plaza1991-2001

Just far enough away to feel like another world. A sunbaked strip where trees don't grow. From days with my mother when a playground grew wrought iron flowers to sunset skating, shooting down through traffic. Pet store, general store, night time chinese take out after piano lessons. The balmy summer air as we walked empty sidewalks lit blue from florescent overheads. May flies swarming the windows. Thinking absolutely nothing. No waiting, no searching, no shopping, just there. Bench sitters scattering soda cans watching the sun descend behind grey rectangles in parking lots.

Gas Station1999-2011

We still call it sheetz but I'm glad it isn't one any more. There's a spot behind the building where a tree grows up next to a retainer wall for the adjacent parking lot. That was the spot for sitting, legs outstretched, feet pressed against tree trunks while drinking gatorade, iced tea, or slurpee. A beautiful grove lit by dim yellow streetlights. Shadows are cast by moonlight on asphalt. Chain link fence housing a generator. Always a sacred stroll away day and night. A ritual with implicit worth, walking to the closest convenience store.