Rolling Back

I ran out to grab a sandwich before work and heard several people yelling at others. Thought about Benvolio warning Mercutio that hot weather can cause more anger and fighting. “The day is hot…we shall not scape a brawl.” Funny thing was it was all older folks.

I remember going in the summer to the pool in High Point, NC. There was a big jukebox and it blasted tunes. If a song had a thumping bass line, my brother and I would dive under the water to feel it and make funny faces at each other. He always jumped into the water oddly. No grace just weird flops and splashes. He could be found at the arcade games on his tip toes racking up higher scores than most of the teens who were twice his age.

When I turned 10, it became required of me to mow the yard. I made 10 bucks a mow. It usually took me 2 to 2.5 hours to do it. The push mower had a big plastic case to collect the cuttings. That was usually left off so rows of grass shavings were left behind and used to demarcate racetracks. The gas tank on the mower would need two fillings to complete the job. It was a large yard.

Dad decided to make a garden in a plot that was part of our back yard. Beyond the huge grass part. It had strawberries, green beans, corn, watermelons, and on and on. For two summers he worked his ass off out there. We ate lots of fresh vegetables from our micro-farm.

Mom and Dad got us a lab mix from the pound. The woman had a British accent so Labby became Libby. Libby was a runner. We never had a fence. The old woman on the corner would get so angry at our dog. She lived over 18 years. Mom and Dad went together to put her to sleep. They were sad afterwards.

Mom was a Den Mother for my Cub Scouts troop. She had to run all these Cub Scout events. I had to go to Cub Scout camp one summer. She was there too.

I never got away with anything.

Before we had cable, I would turn the dial for the tv antennae to the NW direction and run outside to watch it robotically rotate around to point towards Winston-Salem. The NBC affiliate would play the good cartoons starting at 4pm.

I spent hours on the rotary phone in my yellow room talking with my 5th grade girlfriend. We had to plan whether we’d go to Putt Putt, the Roll R Rink, or the movies.

Mom would always stop what she was doing to watch her soap opera at 1pm. Sometimes I hear Macdonald Carey in my head saying, “Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives…” before the swelling of the strings. Maybe the truest thing ever said.