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I remember when

The old world had very little fear only that in True Detective magazine.

I would awake to the smell of home smoked bacon and egg breakfast and sweet acorn trees scents flying about outside the screen door, friends waited outside impatiently calling out my name, waiting until the teeth were brushed and the hair was combed; then the day may began in the underground diggings of dirt fort colonies. These were needed to defend against the other friends down the street, other days were made for bicycle exploration into unknown worlds of amazement, ten kids on shining bikes, watch out, or days when refrigerator box racing threw the grass brought other kids from around the corner with glee in their eyes and laughter in their hearts that caused their noses to run down within thousands of an inch from their lip, before being tattooed on their freshly washed sleeves.  In summer when school was out few cars grazed the streets after the dads would leave for work, and moms had shared their secrets together around floral painted coffee cups, then began their world cleaning tour in what seemed like big rooms then. The streets were open territory for ball games, jump rope, and hopscotch and of course Olympic events with a special eight to ten year old section. The blue skies would sail by everyday carrying boats of clouds and submarines, and almost every funny face you could imagine. Life was irreplaceable for every single person in America. If you cared to notice almost everyone everywhere was smiling and entering into small talk of sunshine subjects, with the exception of parents at dark as they had to collect switches to coral us maniac kids, promising to come in, in about just five more minutes. We must have been much tougher then because we didn’t mind taking a few hits with the switch, if we able to keep collecting those five minute interval of friendship with each other. Sometimes the parents would simply give way against our need to continue fun and games, and tell us the door was open, don’t stay out to late, which we would respond I promise mom, "right" what’s late to a ten year old maniac?  

            The first time I snuck a kiss from one of the Flaco sisters I must have sucked in a bunch of inexperienced air because I burped for five minutes. I asked her brother was it like that for him when he kissed her like that and he punched me in the stomach. If there was a fight between boys, it was common knowledge you could beat somebody up but had to stop immediately if one kid said “I give or uncle” there were no exceptions to this rule, and others watching made sure of this. Usually you would shake hands and day dream about beating him up next time.  This is what being a human meant, honor above all else.  No one but policemen and fathers had guns, and the guns were “only” for crooks and bad people who would try to harm good people. None of kids ever saw one.

            Friends were made at a young age and unless they moved away you stayed friends forever.  You knew as much about your friends and their families as you did yourself and your families.  If you happen to be playing at their house at dinner time, a quick call home and you were eating and laughing at someone else’s dinner table.  Only kids were in a hurry, because we were always afraid of daylight disappearing before we were done with it.  We played hide and go seek with friends in the dark until nine or ten o’clock at night, praying in unisons that time would slow down to a pace of a turtle walk so the night would never be without our friends, and the most amazing thing about this was where ever we were at that time the nearest adults in that area were required by moral law to watch out for your safety, even if you didn’t know them at all.  Of course that also meant if they gave us instructions you obviously had to follow them because they were adults, and you weren’t. Our brains apparently were not capable of wisdom yet.

            Kids and their cloths have changed nowadays, but what cloths you wore then distinguished what group you belong too.  But you had to look neat, you might belong to the neat geeks, square headed brainiacs, two by four skate boarders, or bike cyclist, or the most popular, dirty underground explorers.  Most likely you belong to that group which you dressed for that day. The neatness for the most part is something I miss in people nowadays, because I think if you’re neat and polite it defends each other against violence.  It mutually inspires respect as you see each other for who they are or who they will someday become, and not trying to defend yourself against gangster cloths.  Blacks, Hispanics and Whites were very nice to each other back then, I don’t know why they choose to act or become violent in today’s reality, though I have my unpleasant beliefs as to why, although airing them would destroy my image as being politically correct which is another term for “you should say that, someone might hear you” and also I guess its fear from their surroundings and of other people who dress like gangsters.  This saddens me because if you can sit alone in the park with any of these ruffians they will eventually break free of their façade and become humans that you can enjoy and laugh with. Friendships would eventually occur except for some reason they’d leave, and leave their kindness on the park bench where they were just sitting and laughing without their fears.

            Going to the store was always fun, even the grocery stores.  The clean and shiny floors were great to slide into home base when no parents were watching, and that lofting stomach hungry bakery smell of real homemade bread being baked, or the mile long candy rows that tempted you to break open a small tear in the bag and your soul to delve into a new taste you had never experienced. And the drug store where they had all these little amazing gadgets and trinkets, like twelve inch periscopes for spying on the next row over on those alien invaders, cap guns with the smell of gun powder as the cowboy style pistol unfurled itself form the gunslingers holster that still today can export you into a time machine of childhood just from the sight of it. Simple new things then like colorful whirly fans could become the twin engines of a bomber, or an accelerometer of speed on your bike as you propelled the skinny little pedals passing up even the fastest of jets. Of course as we got a little older the best stores became the malt shops, an endless array of toppings on top of a shared banana split, shared because of team work and two miles of walking down a boulevard collecting bottles for (limited redemption bottle collection money) also it had the cool new rock and roll music, pretty girls in pretty smiles and dresses. The girls really were everything you see in the movies about those times. They had unlimited power over us boys by just allowing us to think we might get that elusive kiss you’ve heard so much about from the older boys.  Man o man friends in heaven, a kiss is not just a kiss no matter what the songs said. A kiss was the graduation from boy toys to “hot digedy dog I a man with exaggerated stories of conquest” The stores have now changed and not for the better, I’ve noticed the floors are no longer clean and shiny, there’s trash on them and their as dull as childhood now. Nowadays you go to Wall-mart and I see girls in hair rollers, pajama bottoms and slippers, absolutely no respect for one another.  What’s up with this, I mean slipper races locked in battle with cracked dry ugly feet, scooting along the food aisle, really, was it that hard to take a shower, put lotion on, put some cloths on and do your hair, did you somehow forget the struggle and honor that your grandparents displayed worldwide to bring us to a high standard of living and to become the most powerful nation since the fall of the roman empire, and your racing some fucking slippers through the food section, die you pieces of shit. When I see this I always wish their grand parents as young people could see them like this, they would smack you and say girl what’s wrong with you, are you crazy, get home right this second and clean up or I’ll take a switch to you.  And you know he’d be right and justified in doing it. He would also receive a standing ovation for his effort in maintaining humanity of his family members and plain common courtesy. The next trip to the store you find that person standing next to a can of spic and span, drenched in lotion, clean smelling and the fear of god right behind their eyes.  Regardless of your ethnic race, no slipper racing in the store, you are part of the human race and should not think of yourself as some supreme exception to the rule.  If you expect other people to respect you, then you must respect common courtesy. But if you are not interested in understanding why someone would make this request of you, then you’re just a lost ship in a lonely ocean of ignorance. Wars killed so many young innocent people like you in world war two, so decency of America would prevail and propel us in front of other nations; please try to acquire some resemblance of dignity. In the end nature will catch you and dissolve your exceptions into the crusty reality you deserve.

            This is our country (ours) that means you and me; showing countries like the Netherlands, Africa and South America that we as a people have class also. We Americans more than most other countries need to show who we are because of our diversity and differences. That doesn’t mean you’re exempt from your part in this world. We should be able to teach one another like the Olympians who befriend one another regardless of country, religion, or race, to become the greatest of people sharing a vision past petty differences, diversity, or laziness. Nothing short of that is what allows them to succeed where others have failed. I maybe wrong but I don’t believe they have slipper races in the Olympics.  Excuse me for this next item but music like punk rock and rap must be limited.  I know you think I’m being bigoted for this view, but truth be told, singing words to our children about bitches and ho’s, or killing, stealing guns, and general violence begets the same, but this lesson or knowledge is somehow not affordable apparently to the younger ages, who have not seen how beautiful the past was.

            If you are the parents of children today, please put your best foot forward.  If you do and insist on other children parents to do the same then as Pink Floyd preaches, “you’ll reap the harvest you have sown” Your golden years will turn to your urine years.  I am appalled at the lost of common sense and common courtesy, both are essential and both are easily obtained.  These are not hard concepts to accept, or even hard concepts to implement, with of course the exception of picking your nose in private, that’s a hard one to break, but if you’re waiting for the next generation to change things they won’t.  Mainly because you didn’t have enough energy or time to realize that you showed them no form. No form of kindness, no form of courtesy, no form of ethics, no formulas, no formations, no form of refuge against the cold winds of reason.  Judge yourself as parents and if you can’t honestly give yourself an “A” then you children later on will probably give you a “D” as a generation and as a parents. We do need to get our police to help in a war against violence and be firm about it regardless what the hoodlums have to say about it.

            Try to imagine a morning where neighbors wait in anticipation to talk to you in person about your friendships and listen intently about problems you’re having, and then offer what you need to move away from that unhappiness. Imagine a whole neighborhood of real friends, not just wishful thinking friends, but those willing to go to bat for you or your children regardless of the cost, friends that will come to your assistance regardless of the circumstances.  This was the world I grew up in, and now I find in the tragedy of this a sour mixture of indifference. Americans may never again know this peaceful and honored life because the few bad apples have scared the rest of the barrel by carrying guns into churches, schools, and neighborhoods. Don’t look for the cops to solve this epidemic alone as they to have succumbed to some corruption and evil. It will take both of us, but I fear the winds of change blow on other continents, and no longer here.

            Now looking out my window with clear and precise intent I realize I’ve changed from a messenger of peace to a voyeur of violence. The clocks that broke bad times open, now own the future and it is with an anchoring heart I must let go of peace and tranquility and cry for you, the one’s who never had a chance in hell of knowing widespread community happiness, carefree kindness, and more than anything else, True and unlimited friendships with all those you come in contact with in your neighborhoods. May heavily burdened hearts of the past be with you in your quest for the American dream, for it has moved away leaving you alone and unguarded against the tide of lost decency between you and the coldest winter this country will have ever known. So you think you can tell heaven from hell, can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail? A smile from a vale, do you think you can tell. “Pink Floyd”