Sunday, February 25, 2007

I grew up in a trailer park full of hoodlums, boys who, for the most part, participated in acts of petty crime out of boredom and poverty. I've always felt that, largely, their hoodlumism was a matter of circumstance; that, given interested and sober parents and other options, the majority of them wouldn't have turned to breaking and entering or drugs or illegitimate children fathered too young.

They were always good to me, skipping school to smoke cigarettes and play basketball, standing up for me when kids at school were mean, which they often were. But with such a lack of other choices everyone sort of expected them to die in tragic and meaningless ways; between the cracks is not a very long fall, and several of my childhood friends have died young.

Expecting it to happen, however, doesn't make it any easier to hear, even though it's been ten years since I moved out of the trailer park.

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