“One, two, three – what do I see?” My words were slurred. “Four, five, six – stucco instead of bricks. Seven, eight, nine – to go inside would be fine. But it is three, four, five and I’ll never return alive.”
I was home for Spring Break. My college friends were all someplace warm and my townie friends, well, in the two years at University I had outgrown the ones that hadn’t moved on. They were all like Matt. All Matt talked about was the “Two H-s”, hunting and hockey. His eyes blurred if I brought up anything bigger, even local politics. Mention, say, Noam Chomsky, and his face would shut down.
I had been over to Matt’s house, but got bored with his little minded attitude and wandered away. I soon found myself in front of number 345 Cedar Street saying that little chant I had made up when I was all of 12 years old. “Two, one, zero – if I do it, I’ll be a hero.” I could see my breath in the cold air.
I had always wondered about old number 345, a wonder that bordered on obsession during my middle school days.
Old number 345, yeah, what a house.
Oddly enough, it sat between 337 and 351, as if an entire block was missing except that one strange, out of place house. Continue reading