The Outline of my Life
13 years old.
Seventh - eighth grade.
We moved to a new apartment building on McRee, north of Wade School down Vandeventer, so that my sister JoAnn could have her own room. I became friends with a kid across the street named Donny Brinkley and his gang. We liked to play street hockey in the parking lots of the metal shops around the railroad tracks that went under Vandeventer and Tower Grove nearby.
My Dad and Joyce moved out to St. Peters, MO into a trailer on a lot where my Dad had his own business called Camp-A-Lot. This was the beginning of his successful career in the Recreational Vehicle industry. He'd always liked camping and fishing, so it was a good move, out of the cutthroat, competitive world of car sales.
Puberty closes in. Disturbed by unexpected hairiness in several spots besides genitals. Nobody can really prepare you for this.
Give up completely on mathematics due to the scathing insensitivity of my teacher Miss Furderer. When handing out tests, she doesn't even bother to give my row enough tests for me.
Discover comic strips from the twenties and start going to the downtown library to look at old microfilmed newspapers. I buy and read all the books I can on the history of the Comic Strip.
Try to draw my own comics on a serious level and started writing a fantasy novel, "Mundanarith" under the influence of Robert E. Howard, James Branch Cabell, Lord Dunsany and H. P. Lovecraft
Sex crazed as never before or since. I remember thinking how terrible it was to have every innocent thought and look turn to sex. The year before, sex had been something to joke and giggle about, now it was the dominating all-encompassing meaning of life, and for some reason, I couldn't have it. My self-esteem plummeted to the lowest possible depths.
Ed Mantels' father is killed, an innocent bystander in the middle of a barroom brawl. Ed changes completely after this. He also makes friends with another kid his age, a black kid from North St. Louis named Bill Morris. Since I'm starting to hang around a little more with my brother and his high school friends, I never hang out a lot with Bill and Ed.
I grow my hair long and try to be cool.
Eighth grade is the worst year for me for getting beat up by the black kids at school. Some of the worst bullies I will never forget, especially a kid named Tyrone who pretended he was my friend and then got a couple of his real friends to hold me down while he beat on me in the abandoned gym, and Timothy Bailey, who always seemed to hate me for no rational reason. Most of the other kids just hit me because they knew I wouldn't hit them back. I got pummeled and smacked around every single day, and I was really looking forward to High School, when we would all go our separate ways.
Me in Eighth Grade
The famous booger shot
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