Friday, April 22, 2005
Before the large homes on small plots got planted across from Conant High School in Hoffman Estates, there were barren manmade hills of mud and weeds. Kids rode cycles, teenagers did drugs, and construction companies left idle bulldozers and giant segments of concrete tubing there.
My friend Chris and I had lots of time, little money, and compulsive pyromania. I remember one day we spent collecting empty wooden pallets from behind grocery stores. We dragged them there with rope and skateboards. Once we had a decent ten foot tall pile, we took a small trash bin over to the Mobil station and chose a pump that faced the street so the clerk wouldn't see our dangerous container. It only took a buck to fill it up with gasoline. We spilled some on the way back, but we made the rest count. We used plastic cups to splash as much as we could all over the monument, paying special attention to the bottom.
Then we threw firecrackers at it until it caught. We crouched atop a two-story mudpile, enchanted and extremely pleased with our effort. When we heard the sirens we ran away.
A couple years later not much had changed there. Somebody had made bike ramps and and a few scattered foundations had been dug for future homes, but the concrete tubing still sat in orderly rows next to the rainwater maggot ditch.
I got mad at my dad and decided to run away. I think I was in junior high at the time. I lived across the street in Dunbar Lakes, an association of ugly brown townhomes populated by mean dirty children that spent their time catching frogs from the pond and killing them with rocks.
So I left home with nothing and marched indignantly across the street to the concrete tubes. I announced to my friends that the fifth tube with the red spraypaint marking was my new house. One buddy brought me cold hot dogs and vinegar chips. I ate those and sulked for a weekend. I was out of food and hungry on Sunday, so I started uprooting nearby plants. Somebody informed me that I'd found wild carrots. They were probably just thick roots, but they did kinda look like carrots. I rinsed them in the motor oil maggot breeding pond and tried to eat them. They tasted like moldy gingery radishes. I was proud of myself.
I went home later that night. I snuck in through the basement window well. 7:25 AM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
RECENTNosehair Curling Science
Monopoly At Dawn
A Brief History
Mean Spirited Urine
Static Thesaurus Science
Steel Wool Underwear