Once upon a time, in the not so distant past, young boys and young girls used to play in the streets. This was a common practice for us. We use to rush home from school, change our clothes, hop on our bikes and meet our friends. I often reflect on the time when I was a child. Reflecting upon the time my friend David Beaty and I found a pair of numchucks on one of our many quest’s.
Back then, things were simple. People were kind, and we were allowed to play until the street lights came on. My friend David had the perfect family. He had a younger brother Brian who played with my younger brother Michael. His father liked to be called Dick. At that age, I had no clue at the connotation of that name. But, if I did I would be shooting snots out of my nose. David had an older brother Steven. Steven was a punk, but David was too.
You see, David was the first person to teach me how to cuss. He taught me how to say fuck, shit, pussy and many more. I was so innocent before I met Dave. One day, I was so proud of what I had learned that I decided to show off to my mother and father. I walked into the kitchen after playing all day and greeted my parents by saying “Hey fuck’s! How are you fuck’s doing?” My parents were shocked, and judging from the looks on their faces I knew I said something wrong. My father asked me how I learned to use that word. I told him “David taught me.” My father got up, went to the phone, called David’s parents..then when he hung up he pulled out the belt.
Did you know that in 1981 it was legal to get an ass-whooping from a parent?
That was the first time that I was disciplined. I deserved it. It didn’t stop me from swearing, but I knew not to swear in front of my parents–ever.
Kids use to get in fights too. I can recall a time when the neighborhood bully challenged me to a fight. I accepted, as to not look like a “chump” in front of my friends. The problem was that I didn’t know how to throw a punch. For fighting tips I turned to my babysitter–Kathy.
Yes, I got my fighting tips from a girl. Kathy was awesome. I remember the day of the fight. It was in my driveway. Michael was standing there with his friends. I was there with my friends (and babysitter). I had knots in my stomach, and was feeling light-headed. My babysitter Kathy whispered in my ear, “Punch him in the face, in the stomach and kick him in his balls.”
The fight started and Michael immediately rushed forward. So, I stuck my arm out and did what my babysitter said. I punched him in the face, in the stomach and kicked him in the balls. He went down and started crying. My friends were cheering for me. I felt bad, at first. I was the winner, and winning felt good.
It’s funny how life works. When you’re younger your goal is to get older. I had always wanted to get older. I wanted to be 13, then when 13 hit I wanted to be 16, then when 16 hit I wanted to be 18, then 21. With every milestone I would always say, “I don’t want to be one of those idiots that say they want to be my age!”
After years of living on my own, paying bills, feeling the stress of relationships, worrying about paying the rent or mortgage I can easily say….I wish I was young again…and I wouldn’t change a thing!