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kellychaos kellychaos is offline
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Where I Started But In A Different Place
Old Nov 5th, 2003, 04:55 PM        Illustration Essay
An Illustration essay I had to do in high school based on what we thought "our favorite outdoor spot" was. It's long but, if you have time, read it and tell me what you think:

My favorite outdoor spot is not a physical place. It exists back in time and in my mine. It is a place I do to mentally relax. It stems from a period of my childhood which was both innocent and fun, but also very realy and bvery frightening.

From a child's perspective, many things in life seem a lot more scary than they actually are. Indeed, a child's imagination can create images and ideas more frightening than anything written by any horror writer of our day. So come with me back to the summer of 1978, and bring your childhood with you.

Donnie and I were casually pedaling our battle-torn bikes through the seldom chartered area of "the big kids". the only battle these bikes had seen, however, was with "Mother Nature" and the elements.

I had the typical Schwinn transportation of an eleven year old boy. It was painted black and chipped in several places to reveal two previous paint jobs of bright orange and dark blue. The support bar of the banana seat was loose and the seat itself was patched by a small piece of duct tape. Because I was wearing my "cut-off" jeans that day, the exposed parts of my inner thigh were annoyingly rubbing on the hot vinyl seat. The spikes of the pedals were digging into my shoeless dirty feet in a cyclic rhythm of pain and relief. I focused my gaze downward to avoid staring intot the blazing hot August sun. The ends of the hard plastic handgrips dripped with perspiration from the humid Michigan summer.

I drove with no hands momentarily to wipe the sweat from my slippery hands. It was then that I caught the pudgy form of Mike, the informal leader of "the big kids" as he stepped lazily out onto his shabby porch. the haphazardly built porch creeked with the weight of his obese body. Mike was sporting the spiky crew-cut all the boys in his family wore during the summer months. He wasn't wearing a shirt that day so his "boy boobs" were disgustingly exposed on his fat body. His shorts were struggling to remain in place against themass of his flabby pot belly. His "Kool-aid" stained lips formed into a sneer as he issued his insulting ammunition. "Nice sissy bike, you little fags!", he jeered to us as we passed his dumpy house.

Not to be outdone, my friend Donnie let loose with the standards non-verbal response. It was the ultimate challenge that any kid could give another kid, the middle finger. With that challenge on the table, the race was on. Flying off the porch in a blaze of speed I thought impossible for a kid his size, Mike was already fifteen panic-inducing feet behind us.

I felt an adrenaline rush as the nail-like spikes from the pedals dug into my bare feet and the rubbing of my thighs became excruciating. I increased the grip on my handlebars and leaned forward to gain speed. Reading each other's mind, Donnie and I turned into the garbage-strewn path of a vacant lot, and ditched our bikes in a hasty camouflage. We plowed through the dry brambles and overgrown weeds towards our childhood hideout. It was actually an old shed built of rain-soaked plywood and rusty nails which smelled of mildew. It was our safety net, our second home, and "my favorite outdoor spots".

Wherever you go, there you are.
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