We sometimes just sat around in the park talking to homeless guys. They always have the best stories. One of them would not shut up about tree cops. The cops that hide in the trees and disappear when you look at them. They have secret doors that lead into the sewers. Don’t even think he was on crack, think he was just insane.
I didn’t mind hanging around in dark alleys with degenerates. Then something horrible happened. I’m surprised it took that long in retrospect. Back then I never thought it would happen but I was a kid. Dark alleys and little girls don't mix. I haven't said the words and I ain't going to start now. I will say that I told everyone I fell off my bike. That's why my face was all jacked up. Not sure anyone believed me. I stopped going downtown and quit the drugs. In some small way, I owe that man in that alley some gratitude. Maybe.
My parents came back. Caught wind that I wasn't doing so well. We moved in with my grandparents to take care of granddad. He was gone at that point. Found him covered in shit yelling about his mother a few times. We found grandma with a pillow over his face once. He died soon after. Maybe it sounds cold or callus but we were mainly happy. He hadn’t been in a good way.
Saw swastika boy again around then. He was covered in tattoos. Had taken way too many drugs and it sent him into a schizophrenic state. Guess he saw purple people and tree cops. He hugged me and told me he was happy to see me. Not sure if that was true. Not sure if I was happy to see him either.
Got my first actual job around that time. Sorting bottles at a bottle depot. Wasn't bad. I’m strong for my size. Used to toss hay back when I was a kid. Sort of like lifting weights. The thing was I had to have short sleeves. My arms look a bit like a war-ground. One scar, in particular, is really noticeable. The one that sent me to the loony bin. People look. Most don’t say anything but some do. Don’t care so much anymore but I hated talking about it.
Met this weird guy. He looked like the dude from the OC, Adam Brody. Handsome in that geek way. He was meek and soft-spoken. I’d slept with more girls than he had. Liked to choke me during sex. It’s always the ones you least expect. We didn’t see each other long.
Got another job at this dead movie store. That was fun. Made a few friends that I don’t talk to anymore. Worked seven days a week for a while before quitting at the bottle depot.
Met another guy. He was a goth. As in one of those real goths that wear whiteout contacts and all black. Not like those emo kids you see around. We had a good relationship. We both knew exactly what it was. Fun. He liked to bite, I expected that from someone like him. I only ever saw his real eyes once or twice. They were brown. He was really pretty.
Got my third job, working at a pharmacy. One of the pharmacists got fired for looking at porn at work, who does that? Guy didn’t even have an office. Just did it right at the counter.