Skip to main content

The Reckless Abandon of Youth

We had climbed up the thick, craggy bricks on the west side of the old church building so we could sit on its roof, dangling our feet over the edge, over the rain gutters. It was probably dangerous but that was immaterial to a pair of poorly behaved thirteen year olds. The chestnut-colored roof shingles were deteriorating, we spent our time picking off bits of the crumbling tiles and tossing them into the void of shrubs and grass below. Neither of us attended church any longer, it had been forsaken in the name of rebellion right around the same time we realized we were officially teenagers. On every day except Sunday the church grounds and fa├žade of the building served as one of our favorite playgrounds.

Reverence for things others found holy was not something either of us would learn and appreciate for a good many years.

Adam and I spoke of many things from our perch, lobbing the bits of tarred shingle every so often between breathes.

“We need girls,” Adam said.

“Mm-hmm,” I agreed.

The thought of it was preposterous. Both Adam and I were still unknown to the touch of pubescence. Our motivation for wanting girls was because it seemed to us something every teenage boy should want. Societal cues informed us much more than primal ones.

“Why don’t we have bikes?” Adam wondered.

I shrugged my shoulders and made an accompanying wordless reply. Thinking back on it, I might have had a bike, but it was dangling in the rafters of the garage in a state beyond repair. It was the bike I got for my eighth birthday. The rims were bent, it’s frame was twisted and that was in addition to the fact that I’d simply outgrown it. I never understood why my father was reluctant to replace it. Maybe he wasn’t, maybe it had just slipped his mind.

He was always busy with something.

For a boy my age then, a bicycle was much more than a mode of transportation; it was some type divine right. With enough kids with bikes, we could form a gang and our range for causing trouble tripled.

To continue reading, please purchase this short story for the Kindle. It appears as part of the collection of short stories "A Simpler Time: Six Mostly True Stories"

For those without a Kindle, it's available via .pdf by clicking the link below.



2 comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Symbiotic Relationship Between Art and Politics

Art is inherently political.

Let's just get that out of the way. We all have things we want to say (or things we want to not say) in our personal lives that shape the art we make. And artists, more often than not, are trying to say something with their art, even if their goal is to not say something.

There is no doubt that this has been a turbulent week in the country I live in. There are many of us that are confused and shocked and afraid of what might be to come in the future. That's understandable. As artists and writers, I feel like we're typically more empathetic than the general population. It's easy to think about what it's like to be in someone else's shoes because we spend so much of our creative time almost literally in someone else's shoes. And we need to pass that understanding on to our readers or viewers or however else they're consuming this art.

I've seen this troubling idea, though, that art needs to be purely for escape and that p…

Anatomy of a Scene - City Lights

We're going to break down another scene this week, and it's one of my favorites in cinema history. It comes from the ending of City Lights by Charlie Chaplin, which I think is the greatest romantic comedy ever made. 
It's a touching film from 1931 and I would make it mandatory viewing for anyone who wants to learn to tell a story.
The scene we're going to be breaking down comes from the very end of the film, so if you haven't seen it, I don't want to spoil it for you. Go watch the film. You can rent it for $3.99 in HD on Amazon or for free on Hulu with a free trial or plus subscription. You should just buy the Blu-ray, though. You're going to want to revisit it.
For those of you familiar with the movie, or for those of you who are going to ignore my pleas to watch it and go ahead with this post anyway, I'm going to set this clip up a bit before you watch it.
City Lights tells the story of Chaplin's Tramp and how he falls in love with a blind flower …

Salt Lake Comic Con 2016 Schedule

It's time again for Salt Lake Comic Con and I have another packed schedule. This is where I'll be occupied for much of my weekend. I would love for you to come out, see me on a panel, catch me at my signing, or just say hello.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

3:00 pm Fixing Fandom and Ending Bullying and Gatekeeping :: 150G

4:00 pm Fauxthentic History - Star Trek :: 151G

6:00 pm Star Wars Trailer Park :: 151G

8:00 pm The Life and Times of Ahsoka Tano :: 151G

Friday, September 2, 2016

12:00 pm Palpatine's Rise: The Cautionary Tale of the Star Wars Prequels :: 255C

1:00 pm Star Wars: The Life and Times of Han Solo :: 251A

3:00 pm Jeremy Bulloch :: 250A

5:00 pm Stuff You Missed in History Class Live: How Does Historical Fiction Get Made? :: 250A

6:00 pm Bryan Young Signing :: Shadow Mountain - Booth 1807

7:00 pm Adventures in Podcasting :: 251A

8:00 pm What is the Balance of the Force? :: 255F

Saturday, September 2, 2016

11:00 am Famke Janssen :: Grand Ballroom

12:00 pm The Many Fac…