There was a peachy pink farm house with a horse in the yard right there in the middle of Edmonds suburbia. We had just moved from an expansive shitty desert town in the tri-cities.
This farmhouse stood as a relic of what once was. It was perfectly boxed in by the newer cul-de-sacs on each side, but if you just took in just the house and the dirt around it with the horse circling you could imagine what it was like before. The house was torn down and became just another cul-de-sac, totally erased. I just couldn’t get over it.
I had two paper routes. One was the weekly Edmonds Enterprise and the other was the Daily Herald. I had my system down. I would fold as many papers as i could hold between my knees and then band them one after another. Then I would hop on my Wild Thing Huffy and time myself peddling up the hill and then down the street next door tossing the papers as I whizzed by. I loved it.
There was one family from California ~ which to me, made them very exotic ~ who would pay me $5 when I’d go collecting for the Enterprise. This was a $3.75 tip and it blew my 9 year old mind and I always collected from them first. One customer told me I looked like I had jaundice because I’d painted my nails yellow. I had to figure out what that meant. I was certain that one strange elderly couple was the duo I’d seen on Americas Most Wanted, however I was too paranoid to report them. Many of my customers would turn me away several times before ponying up, but I always got my buck twenty-five.
In the summer I would ride myself a few blocks away to Yost pool for some daily swimming and look for my boy crush. Yost is an outdoor pool surrounded by woods. I loved being underwater in a bubble where sound and light were muffled and I felt light. Certain that I was overweight, I’d swim in my tee-shirt.
Our house was big and we all had our own rooms for the first time in a long time. And dad was working locally! We would sled down the stairs in sleeping bags. The house had a laundry shoot. I would iron bread flat on the ironing board and drench it in butter and sugar while I waited for my clothes to dry in solitary bliss.
We had to bury our beloved Mitzie under the huge huge tree in the backyard after she was hit by a car. I'd found her after search all day in a neighbors brush where she'd gone to die alone. It absolutely crushed me.
Jessica was of my older friends on the block. Her mom was obese and she wore fancy moo-moo’s. Her mom was always watching TV and chain smoking in the gold embossed living room. When she was younger she had danced for the queen. I found her to be fascinating ~ a retired star becoming one with the couch. She could care less what we were doing and I never talked to her. Jessica’s dad was a house painter who was much older- too old to be laboring like that.
Jessica would tape cotton balls to her boobs and meet up with boys.