Front Porch Kid, North Syracuse, NY

We live from Wolf to Court Street. Over the interstate is the lake where we throw rocks under the forever gray sky. Next to our house is Daddys Place on the corner market of Carbon Street. There is a sign that says "Market" hanging over the sidewalk, an "ATM" sign in the window. The ATM has money, but I never seen anybody break into it. To the right of our house is Quality Countertops, but I ain't seen nobody come out with a counter. My daddy is a part time electrician, part time car mechanic, but mostly his big ass is hanging off our porch on the seats he pulled from our old van. I'll be a fat man like him some day. I feel a fat curse in my gut. In the summer, our porch is the place where we get bored and watch the meth or weed or cell phone deals go by. I notice a lot of punks on Wolf Street talk a lot on their cell phones to escape the shithole they're standing in. Some times we ride bikes and sneak into the minor league ball park they built in the middle of a waste land of old plants. That was dumb. Nobody ever gonna fix up big old dumb buildings here. In the winter, I go to Franklin Elementary, up past Lookers strip joint and the Cumberland convenient store. It's the skanks and franks block. It's a nice brick school. They put in computers to corral little monsters and loud mouths. How dumb can you be. Monsters break machines, every body knows that. But it's school, they try again every year. I like upstate blizzards that blow in for a week and blow the power and bury the whole place white. That's the best time on Wolf Street.

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