Oct 16, 2016

The Martian Boy Invites Me to "Play"

Rock Island, September 1969

My parents used to have a barbecue every Labor Day, and invited all their friends and neighbors.  This year Greg and his father came.  After our hot dogs and hamburgers and Lays potato chips and apple cobbler, they wanted to play croquet.

Greg and I were in 4th grade, too old for baby games, so we escaped. We walked across the deserted schoolyard, peeking in the windows of Denkmann School, then crossed the street to Dewey's Candy Store.

Dick the Mean Boy was out of town, so we were free to explore south of Denkmann without being attacked.  We found a scary bizarro-world where the normal rules of time and space didn't apply.

Streets had names instead of numbers.
They doubled back on each other like a space warp.
They dead-ended at nothingness.
We saw the end of the world: 46th Street then 1st Street, the beginning of a new universe.

It felt very dangerous, as if we might run into a mysterious threat around every curve.

Then, standing in a front yard all by himself, staring into space, we saw a boy!

A couple of years younger than us, very cute: black hair, black eyes, olive skin, wearing a red shirt and short pants.

But strikingly out of place: alone, silent, unmoving.  And Asian!

In Rock Island, "minority" meant Belgian, Italian, or Greek.  African-Americans were strictly segregated, below the hill, and I had never met or seen anyone Asian.  Not even a face in the crowd at Longview Park or Mother Goose Land.

[Even in 2016, the Asian population of Rock Island is only 0.75%]

He couldn't be real! He must be a ghost.  Maybe a Vietnamese boy who died in the War.  Or an alien!  Maybe he came here in a spaceship from Mars.

The full post, with nude photos, is on Tales of West Hollywood

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