For less than a year, I was a substitute teacher. Some days I was a good one. Some days I was very very bad.
I picked up and delivered furniture for newly-arrived refugees under the auspices of a Lutheran charity.
Pretty much the only camps I went to were basketball camps at local colleges. I didn't so much like the camp part, but loved the basketball.
A girlfriend once put a cigarette out on my arm and tried to run me over with her car.
I was very class-conscious as a teenager, which is funny to think of now, as everyone in my little hometown was middle class, or acted it, just intensely stratified.
I was a vandal, but only because I was drunk.
When I think of the boy I hit in the bathroom in fifth grade for no reason but to prove myself to the older bullies, I still feel ashamed.
When I think of the time I was beaten and mugged, had my testicles stomped, inebriated and sixteen, it makes me grin, even laugh. And did from the first moments, well, after the pain subsided, which was immediate.
Once, a drunk and angry neighbor leveled a shotgun at my head. As I was drunk, angry and stupid, and in his yard yelling. The police arrived, which likely saved me, but then left without arresting the guy. He shot his wife the next week. When she got out of the hospital, she sent her seven-year-old daughter over to my house to ask me if I was interested in dating.
In the summers, those same neighbors would gather under a giant oak in their dusty yard and watch television on a late-70's model RCA, one of those cumbersome wooden-cabinet sets–powered by an orange extension chord running from the front window. I always wanted to go over and watch with them, but never did.
I really like Mystery on PBS, Sunday nights at 9pm. Especially Miss Marple.