Wandering Suburbanite

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I used to run rampant in bicycle gangs of five or six, tearing up the streets lined with quaint suburban duplexes. I can still feel the chilly air tainted with the smell of pine trees flowing through my untamable hair. Our fleets of first-graders terrorized small animals and little siblings among well-manicured lawns. I had my purple “Malibu” two-wheeler (my pride and joy) and rode without any hindrance as fast as I could over dirt jumps in the vacant lot beside my house. In the winter there were snow-covered rooftops and streets as far as the eye could see, and the rumble of enormous snow plows would wake me in the frosty mornings. In the mild summers, backyards were littered with shallow kiddy-pools with blown-up slides if you were lucky, kids ran through sprinklers squealing with delight, and rounds of ice pops were delivered by the ice cream man. Three-foot wire fences were the only thing separating neighbors, and block parties were commonplace. Aside from white picket fences and mothers in dresses with aprons calling in their children at nightfall, it was the “Leave It to Beaver” perfect world. There in upstate New York is where my roots remain, not in the sweltering heat of the Houston suburbs, despite the fact that I...

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