Aug 22, 2006

Wheels like flying dieing

Because we had wheels. That's why. Because we were crazy and because we wanted to fly, or die, or because the hill was there and a step off the top would take you all the way down in a scream of whooshing and the whoosh of us yelling into each others ears for the moment it would take to fall all the way to the bottom of the road.

We could go to the top of the hill, the big hill, the curved hill. Not that the hill was curved. The road was curved, swooped around a corner of houses and old oak trees shading the turn in the summer and covering it down in fire-red leaves in the fall. It started down from where it teed with our street and plunged down to where the old black man named Herb - said with the h - worked for the mean old white lady in her garden of herbs - said with the h - and back around the hill back the direction it started and went out into a long easy roll down the houses on the edge of the lake.

It was the kind of hill that made old people put their automatic cars in low gear and go creeping up or down as slow as they could. It was the kind of hill that scared mothers and where an acorn falling at the top would roll all the way to the bottom and the yard at the bottom was piled in drifts of uphill acorns. We loved it. It scared the hell out of us.

It could of killed us, should have killed us. I guess I knew that even then, knew it at least in the knot that would grab me and the yell I would scream when we put the wagon around facing down and stepped off into the wagon's bucket and let the hill take us away.

The wagon, red, with two of us or three of us flying. The wind pushing past us, up hill. We were flying or falling, screaming sailing down the hill and trying to lean around the curve and turn around the curve and somehow we never came around into a car. Should have. There were cars and we were going fast enough to kill ourselves, fast enough to die for, and it wasn't like the wagon came with brakes. We made the turn sometimes, sometimes, coming around into an exhale of easy rolling road where we'd relax and slow down.

Sometimes we wouldn't make it though. Sometimes we'd be yelling and leaning and grabbing on to each other and the wheels would leave the black top tipping and we wouldn't be able to turn as much as the turn and we'd careen into the curb and crash all of us off and over the lawn and Herb would shake his head, not saying we shouldn't but just saying Y'all like to kill yourselves, crazy kids, on that hill.

We'd laugh, and check for all our body parts. We'd ask Herb what he was doing, even though he was always herb gardening, and then we'd climb up again.