It is safe to say we were all a little guilty when the police finally showed up. In the history of authority, I will say, guilt has never before been granted such slack, and lost its contention with such ease. It has never been such a delicious and ambiguous pie shared, so often, it is simply an oyster swallowed.
Every year in July, in this college town, exiled students that become reformed interns and then perhaps model citizens lay their Goodwill bought household instruments upon the sidewalks for us to peruse. They are placed in cardboard boxes and labeled free and if our ice cream cones are aggressively elusive to our tongues on our Sunday night walks we will spare the drippings to the sidewalk and spoil these curbside goods with a little sugar and cream.
It is interesting throughout the years, and the years past, how we have come to know these suburban blocks like school halls, for example: “There seemed to be so many distrusting lawyers on Pine Street this year, I think, at least, because of all these thrown out second-hand lamination machines.”
Broderick Street was teeming with free and poorly built terrariums. The cul-de-sac off of Fifth Street was littered with enough oversized drafting tables to hold a figure drawing class right there, right then, we just needed someone to stand in the middle of it all, and pose.
It wasn’t until we turned down the steep thirty-degree Arch Street, on some glorious sugar high that we stumbled upon this strange marriage of the leavings of both the students of the academy of fashion as well as the department of culinary arts.
Everyone buys frying pans when they go off to college, but the culinary of arts students, they buy the eighteen inch woks on a whim, and student loans.
The woks were covered top to bottom in cooking grease from a semester of ambitious meals, and our hands were sticky from that night’s cheap pharmacy ice cream.
I would say the cops pulled up after eight or ten runs down the street. The neighbors said that we were trailing sparks as we piloted these second-hand cooking woks down their steep block. At twelve years old my thinner one hundred and five pound frame and a running start pushed me past four or five houses, and for some reason we figured we would go faster and farther with capes. So we crafted capes with the leftover reams of fabric from the fashion students, I remember mine was gold and blue.
Apparently the neighbor that finally phoned the police was worried that with our capes we might catch fire, and we would commit some sort of high speed self-immolation.
As a child I did not subscribe to such a generous exaltation of faith. Yet, when I was speeding down that hill I did feel something thrilling, and with ease, I can say, my fate was abdicated.