Small Town Scene, Big City Dreams (Flash-Memoir)

The sun came down like rain on the hay bale where Jonathon and I sat, watching the cattle graze. We were tired and thirsty. We were beaten and bored, but content with spending the remainder of that lazy afternoon soaking in the solitude. We could barely hear our parents in the distance, chatting on the porch, savoring the occasional breeze, which kept them cool through warming beer and burning cigarette filters. We had tired of their politics, their music, and their problems long ago. I was eleven and Jon was nine, but we knew what fun was.

Fun was hunting for snakes with Swiss Army knifes.

Fun was turning up the corrals in the field and pretending to be hamsters.

Fun was peeing in the open and fighting for our favorite tree.

It was ditching each other.

It was being scared for our lives in our own back yards.

It was drawing tracks in the sand and fooling ourselves in to following them.

Fun was anything we could do without permission.

Fun was anything dangerous.

Fun was anything we did and we knew it.

“Jordan. Jonathon. Get over here!” my mother yelled from behind us.

We turned around as quickly as possible, fearing the worst.

She laughed, “What are you guys doing out here by yourselves?”

“Just hanging out, Mom,” I responded.

“Well, dinner is ready. Jonathon, your dad made that yummy drunk chicken again.”

Jonathon hopped down immediately and began struggling with the screen door on the porch. I sat back smirking, in no particular hurry to call it a night. Mom opened the door from the other side and gave me her best “giddy up” look. I slid to the ground from my mountain and rushed by, hands in my back pockets, not wanting to give her the satisfaction of a playful spanking as I passed.

Jonathon and I dished up as quickly as possible and bolted for the back door. We never thought eating at a table to be adventurous or civil. But our parent’s had other plans that night.

“Hold your horses son, where ya goin’?” my dad asked.

“To…the…trampoline?” I said.

“No, you’re not, you need to eat your dinner and go to bed.”

“But it’s only ten seventeen, Dad.”

“Yeah, well I think you guys have had enough fun today.”

“How do you know?”

“Because you still haven’t packed your things yet.”

“Don’t be stupid Dad, we don’t move for another week!”

He glared at me, and I felt Jonathon take a few steps back.

“We move tomorrow.”

“Yeah dude, why do you think I’m here, We’re helping ya’ll,” Jonathon said.

“I don’t wanna move to Orlando,” I shouted, embarrassed and defeated.

“We’re moving to Apopka, son. Now go to your room.”

I ran away, infuriated. And watched as Jonathon slipped outside for a cigarette and a beer.

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