Peaches and Dents

By Anonymous

Whenever I think of my childhood, I think of the house on Beverly Street. Los Angeles is a really big city: it’s where I was born and raised. When my family lived on Beverly Street for the second time, I was in first and second grade. I didn’t like school very much. It was easy, and I didn’t have a lot of friends, but the summers are still vivid in my head. Our duplex was very small, and my siblings all shared one room, so we spent a lot of time outside. Our downstairs tenants had an almost kangaroo-like dog; he was hyper and jumpy. A drooping peach tree stood in the backyard. It drooped so much it looked like it was sad, the peach smell sweet and clear against the usual smog. My older brother would boost me up with his knee and I would lay peaches into the pulley my dad had strung up for us. If I wasn’t careful when I jumped out of the tree, I would step into mushy peaches or drop the ones I had.
Along the front yard a chain link fence sat with pride. Mom grew her exotic ferns on the inside, and on the outside of the fence, there were dents. I had spent most of the summer learning how to ride my bike with my dad and I was terrified at the prospect of flying off my bike like a strange foreign bird. After many scrapes, I got pedaling down, but the dents came from not knowing how to brake properly. Biking, crashing, dents. Over and over. For whatever bizarre reason, I almost enjoyed it. I was proud as a peacock when I could wobble up the street.
By the time I could ride my bike around the block, with my dad chasing closely behind me, my parents announced that we would be moving away. I remember watching my bike bruises heal, and then men in baggy gray suits came and hammered the dents out of the fence, pulling up the plants my mom had missed. Six and half years ago, I left my fourth house, and headed to the fifth, leaving behind the sweet smelling peaches and hard-earned dents.

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