Tuesday, October 04, 2005

back when i was a dream looter


you know, growing up poor has its little perks. not that im recommending being poor, mind you. let me state: i do not think being poor is cool, or fresh or def or whatever it is the younguns chirp these days. no, thats not what im saying at all. let me reiterate: being poor is NOT COOL. but you know, growing up poor has its little perks. im just sayin.

for instance: growing up poor made me pretty crafty in a sparsely stocked kitchen. seriously. i can do wonders with eggs and cheese, and dont even get me started with the rice and pepper. shit, i can make kool-aid out of sugar and water, and can make pasta and almost anything else you got taste like wolfgang puck pooted in your mouth. oh wait, thats not very tasty is it? uh... in any case, i can fix a feast on a dime, fo sho. just ask somebody.

and it also made me find cheap, usually non violent and mostly legal, mischief to get into. shit, you cant afford to go to disneyland when youre growing up poor. you gotta do something.

so of course, when me and my equally as poor friends would get together, we would create entire worlds dedicated to our imaginations. we would manifest small armies of monsters and heroes and they would run and chase with us throughout the city. hiding in trees ready to leap or swinging from a street lamp, protecting our blindside. we were ninjas or smugglers or lone gunmen [with friends, which technically makes us not lone gunmen, but you gotta work with me here. we were kids. poor kids even!]. we were elves and knights and gangsters. we were never wizards though. never. EVER wizards. ok, maybe once, anyway, we would march through the city, searching for adventure. it was fun and you know, it was just cheaper that way.

one of the things we would do, when we had gotten sick of the pastel colors of our innocent imaginations that is, was go to this classy Hyatt hotel downtown and steal coins from its wishing fountain. it was amazing to us, people would actually throw quarters into the fountain. quarters! thats a fucking video game or a bus ride home or a video game even! there would be loads of them, what looked like at least a hundred hours of video gaming worth. all sprawled on the bottom of that large, shallow fountain in the middle of the hotel lobby.

people walking in every corner of your eye. a bar and security and glass elevators facing in. the front desk and guest and wait staff everywhere.

one of us would roll up their sleeves and the grab the others ankles and we would walk through the water on our hands taking coins from the fountain. we didnt even notice if anyone saw us. as if we were the only ones there. lone gunmen indeed. eventually our pockets would be dripping wet with wishes and a security guard would chase us off.

from there it was usually to the nearest arcade, and with enough loot to get a tournament going. i never even tripped on the wishes i stole. i hope those people arent sore about it.

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:gray matters: by jkg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at downtownalleys.blogspot.com.