Thursday, June 2, 2011

Part one of some parts: Was I a troubled youth?

In my apartment in cold cloudy Corvallis Or, USA I find my self asking a very interesting question. When I was a child how annoying was I? Was I a neighborhood pest? The family upstairs seems to be a nice family. I do however have "beef" with their daughter. The young girl no more than four years of age has done nothing but piss me off from day three of moving down from Portland. When I first moved down I lived in a an apartment at the front of the building. The little girl would come and mess with my planters. Now that I have moved to the back of the building the girl still finds herself on my patio, playing with my things. Now maybe I only have myself to blame. I live on the ground floor and I have pink plastic yard flamingos. Who could resist? I have caught her time and time again pulling the birds out of the soil. I have never confronted her simply because I don't want to be a crotchety old man or make her cry. In her innocent ignorance she has no idea that she is messing with my hard work and she has know way of knowing that she may be killing Mrs.Rosemary(a rosemary plant) by damaging her delicate root system.

Bellow is the before and after.

O.k., the before is a reenactment of what it looked like before she messed with it. I know its not a big deal or anything, but I find it annoying. This has brought me to question how bad of a kid I was when I was her age and did I cause much trouble?
When I was growing up I lived next to this odd ball fellow. He was in his mid thirties at the time and I was about six. I had received a small play tent as a gift. The kind that is made of small PVC pipe with an approximate half inch hole. I never really enjoyed the tent and had much more fun with the pipes. I would make balls of play-doh and shoot them at things. It was summer and no one had A.C. in my neighborhood at the time so John would leave his windows open while he was at work. I had been sitting on my front porch watching the world go by when I noticed a three inch crack In John's window. I sat a moment after making my observation and said "I bet I could make it in his window within ten shots." So I gave it my all. I was going to make it in the small slot in ten tries or else. I failed to make it in shot after shot, however on that tenth and final shot I made it in. Funny thing is i didn't stop there. I sat there with my makeshift blowgun and shot away for an hour. I know that in my head I thought I had made hundreds in. The truth is that I only made in seven. I remember it was seven because that was my lucky number at the time. However many made it in has no relevance and I will tell you why. Sitting on my porch is about all I did in the summers. I was a Portly kid and had no friends. I would watch my neighbors come home from work every night. I had it down like clockwork. I knew when George across the street would pull up on his bike and when Mark would drive into his parking spot in his red Toyota pickup. I certainly knew when John would be driving one of his many beaters up to the curb. At a quarter past six I heard his van pull down the block and at that moment it hit me... I had just launched play-doh into his house. John walked up his three cement steps and took the half step to his door. Light flickered on in his living room. I ducked my head and watched through a slat in the railing. He set his lunch box down. took his shoes off. walked halfway to his kitchen and "what the fuck" blurted out of his mouth faster than a freight train and twice as loud. I know that I was In deep shit. The whole evening went by. My Dad drove our cream colored Buick Skylark into the driveway and ate his dinner. My Mom tucked me in and I started to drift off. I thought I had gotten away with it. I dreamed the sweetest dreams, dreams of freedom. I dreamt of running barefoot in the yard. I was eating a hotdog... RING RING RING. the phone was my alarm clock that morning. Interrupted from my ideal childhood dream with the sound of harsh reality. "Sean Zachariah Carlson,... get into the kitchen right now." My Mom got the word of my misbehavior. As it turns out John had smashed a ball of play-doh between his toes and into his gross shag carpet. I didn't get in much trouble. My Mom made me apologize and that was about it.
John had kids. One was a year younger and the other about five years younger. My younger sister and I would go over and play with his kids. I remember that shag carpet well. It was greenish and and thick. I also remember that when I was about ten I went over to play with his son. Running in through the front door to the kitchen I scratched my foot on something hard. It didn't cut me, it just left a thin white line beside my big toe. I went back to see what I had scratched myself on and I discovered a hard blue lump under a layer of carpet. John had tried to get rid of the blue play-doh but could only get a small fraction of it out.

This is only one story I have about John. In the next instalment of "Parts:Was I A Troubled youth?" I will tell yet another story about John, His poor window judgment, and my fondness of throwing things into Johns windows. I will comment more on the girl upstairs and the question in my tittle.

Thanks for the readin,



I took this image from Flickr. They might get mad. Thanks to Jennifer taking a photo of carpet. I only have one question for you... match the drapes?

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