the life of richie


Posted in is by Rich on September 10, 2011

Dad says: the jerks next door moved out. They left their junk on the curb.

I look at the barricade: evicted mattresses piled up, getting wet in the rain; mattresses stained with summer sweat and suntan oils where the surfer boys would pass out after endless days spent at the beach and half-naked nights spent on the porch drinking, when they would scream to people on the street, “I take it up the ass!” Furniture: high chairs with palm tree patterns, a bureau; home appliances: a vacuum cleaner. How often did the surfer boys keep house, I wonder. I imagine the little blond one in a moment of domestic servitude, vacuuming in his slouchy board shorts, unsure about what he is doing even. Turn it on. Turn it on and it goes. Just pass it over the dirt. Over the spilled spliff. Over the cereal bobs. Suck it up. Suck it up and see.

The porch, which once was a mess with a big gas grill and dead beer bottles and surf/skate boards and towels and cast-off clothes, now is nothing. It looks so clean; so clean and peaceful. So empty and clean. The end of their endless summer. The sense of an ending. And where did they end up, I wonder. Where: like convicts taking off one afternoon (they would have slept in, after all; never get up before noon, unless it was to get in a quick surf, and then go back to bed), just throwing everything out the window, off the porch, getting into one of their trucks blinded with the Billabong stickers in the rear windshield, and then gone. The surfer boys, who must now have to return to the world of shoes and shirts (maybe late for their Return), now do they enter the world that I know. Sometimes I would see them on the porch and think, “That was never my life,” and “I was never that young,” and not in a regretful way, just in a way that made me realize, “I was always too old to play as kids play. To party like that. To have that life. To want it, even.”

One imagines, though, seeing all of the exfoliated refuse shed like an itchy skin, sloughed off onto the sidewalk, about their life; about their inner lives. There must have been something more beating beneath the taut, tanned torsos next door. There must have been some fleshier truth there. One looks at the chairs and the mattresses and the vacuum cleaner. One looks closer. Squinting a bit.

One imagines and…