Route 7 Review - Page 8

neighbor hood By Brad Barry the Craft-Trades of my hometown were none that grown men taught boys we instead learned them from finely tuned jumps over rows of backyard fences spired redwood spikes, upward pointing rough-hewn arrows splintering into our palms, slivers embedded in ever-thickening city skin that would eventually fester, long after being yelled at for creating a racket for catching a glimpse - our splintered eyes seeing though the calloused visions of our (neighbor) hood we learned many skills in that row after row of apartment-like “condos” papertag doorbell ditch jive talk of the white and black and brown and yellow killing time between loads (of lights mixed with darks) at the First Congregational Laundromat camaraderie and evasion in cycles of warm, cold and hot tumble dry the shock of about-to-be wrinkled tees the Craft-Trades of my hometown were taught by boys to boys (where to find the parents and older siblings?) our Trades: makeshift bmx ramps (the miracle of a board and a curb) carport roofs (the miracle of a climb, and a broader vision) speeding cars (the thrill of city “dodgeball”) careful cars (Dillard’s creampuffs, just asking for it) our Skills were those of wary, watchful boys always looking, always on the edge of perceiving, sensing behind our shoulders the slowly cruising cars with windows rolled down “Hey kids, want some candy?” neighbor hood Our elders voiced their concerns only by way of our “sitters” “Take a different walkway to the laundry room; they say a perv lives on that route.” “What’s a perv?” we asked too soon in life, and not soon enough.