I opened the window directly behind our sofa earlier this afternoon and caught a big whiff of the shrub (which I do not know the name of but it is the type people carve designs with like Edward Scissor-Hands) in the hot breeze. My mind brought me back to the scene of my grandparent’s house in Southern California. The green shrub does not grow in Alaska and the first time I smelled the aroma was there. I thought of when I would in-line skates, true Rollerblades before any other company started creating their own version, through their driveway, to the back porch and back. Skate up the hill on the street to their old shop and fly down the cement stairs whilst carefully maneuvering to either side in a hard turn or I would end up smashing into the house. A few times I would tumble, bruising my wrists and knees. Occasionally I would smash into the sidewall of the house which would puncture tiny cement filled holes in the palms of my hands. I can not remember the name of the type of wall paneling they had but it is that typical stucco stuff you see in most of the houses in California and Baja.
They had a lemon and orange tree that we could pick from. My curiosity of the sticky substance on the bottom of the trees had me touch it once. It looked like the strangest and thickest area of sap that I have ever seen. Once I touched it and realised a bunch of ants stuck and dead with it that it was put there just for that reason by humans. I would feel bad for the ants even though I learned how to burn them with a magnifying glass. I also learned about the rolly-puly bugs that could make the popping sound as you cooked their insides. I did not torture insects that much because I did feel bad for them. But fuck, I was still a kid and we did not have insects like that in Alaska. The only cool small life form that I got to kill and torture in Alaska was leeches. I did and still think they are cool as fuck and have no problem with them if they were to attach themselves to my body.
Yeah, I was always one of those weird fucked up kids. I blame Alaska.