When 11 I was preparing to leave my friends made over 6 years in 2nd through 6th grades. My Step-dad had a new job in San Diego..
I was leaving kids I was a cub scout with.. played baseball for the ‘Rotary League’ with.. learned to dance with.. learned when and how to fight with.. growing up.. together..
They regaled me with wisdom as they knew it….
Stories of Mexicans with switchblades.. advice about women of all kinds.. and the real reality we would not be going to Jr. Hi together..
(note from author.. I realize all fictional.. or factual works.. including this one.. is an artist standing naked without pretense or fable)
San Diego was brand new..
I woke suddenly from nocturnal memories.. not really dreams.. I could smell things.. it was more real than any dream.. even my most vivid nightmares did not have such sensory expression..
It was morning so I got up.. went to the John.. brushed teeth.. hair.. and nails.. washed hands face and behind my ears.. on to a bowl of cereal and bus to school..
I had walked almost to the bus stop when I could hear the authority of some A student.. explaining something to another A student..
Suddenly Dennis Fisher from my grade.. sensing a calm in their litany of words.. inspected their faces.. nodded with much the same authority the A appleshines had and loudly proclaimed.. ‘They’re thinking.. shit’s gonna be flyin’ every which way in a minute’..
Such things in humor had set paths from days of boredom to affable.. humorous viewpoint.. rather than scholastics set with the same bar level as boring days.. boring for some long time now..
The trip to school passed quietly.. as we pulled up to the curb at school I saw a friend who would dare go to ‘The Center’ with me for a smoke.. I caught up and as we walked he asked me what I was fighting with Ernie about?.. (matter settled yesterday) I said I was defending myself.. ‘Yeah.. he replied.. you were killing him’.. I pondered that.. said.. ‘If someone forces a fight I want to win’..
Vinny was native american.. there were a million fables and ‘tales of wisdom’.. today he was running on another story.. something concerning the Mission Presidio and Father Serra.. I heard him but it seemed he was in and out of sound.. I could not have known what he was saying would bring me closer to the spectre of one I came to know and believe as real..