Well, actually it was just Decatur High. Decatur, Alabama. My parents had moved into a house just down the street from the schools so I could walk back and forth. The elementary school was at the top of the street, the junior high one block over, and the high school next to the junior high. Talk about inbreeding.

Why do all the kids want to get out of here?
I like it here.
I belong.

I'd walk home 'til I got old enough to ride a bike. Then I'd ride the wind on the Schwinn.

A closed universe?
A lack of overview of the big picture?
How much of the big picture
can you see when you're 12?

Girls came later back then than they seem to do now. In the 9th grade, I had a stick of dowel from shop class. We were in science class and this brunette untouchable was sitting across from me at these tables we had in science. I stuck that piece of dowel under her skirt, under the table. I was touching her private parts with an extension of me, and she smiled.

That Sunday, I walked all the way to her house on an overcast fall afternoon, just to try and will her out of the house. It was a long walk home.

I had my ass beat, my heart broken, my life's entire course decided right there in those two square blocks. My dreams, to this day, are full of visions of 1962 and 1963.

It snowed 6" in Alabama.

I've got a black leather jacket.

I'm running home from school with missiles
being fired from Cuba;
having to hurry
before the radiation got too bad.

JFK looks up at Jackie
as she holds his bloody head

in her delicate white-gloved hands.

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