Growing up on the Cul-de-sac

I grew up on a cul-de-sac. A cul-de-sac is the perfect analogy for suburban hell. There’s only one way in and one way out of the street, and your neighbors, they always seem to be there, and they are always watching you. As a kid, a felt like I was a hostage on my street. You were forced to play with the other kids on the street. Thankfully, after almost pulling the trigger a couple of times before, my parents moved to a cool street when I was fifteen.

Sure, in school I knew a lot of cool kids, and I hung out with them some at school, but until you get your drivers license, you are kind of trapped with your neighbors. I saw those neighbor kids daily it seemed, and they just got crazier as time went by.

For instance, the family that lived in the closest house to me, the Starr Family, had a little kid that was about my age. I’m pretty sure he was pregay. He went to church all the time, but he didn’t really believe in God. He picked his nose all the time and ate the boogers right in front of everyone. He didn’t care that he looked like a complete idiot. His mom would tell everyone on the block that she was having a big party, but no one ever showed up. The Starr kid was always wanting to hang out with me. I’d tell him to get the fuck away from me because he was weird, he was a freak. Their house was a complete dump and hurt the property value of all the other houses on the block. His mom would come over and tell my mom I was mean to the Starr kid, so my mom would make me play with him. I usually ended up just beating the shit out of him, but he seemed to like it. Years later, my mom told me she hated dealing with his mom because she was crazy. It was easier for her to just make me play with that kid sometimes, even though she knew he would never amount to anything. His mom still called after we moved, trying to get me to come over and play with him. My mom finally told his mom to fuck off, there’s no way we’d ever see them again.

The Snyder family lived up the cul-de-sac. They were a strange breed as well. The dad was an older mean looking dude. They struggled to make their house payment but tried to keep their house looking semi-nice. Mr. Snyder moved out for several years, leaving Mrs. Snyder in the house by itself, and that house started to look like shit. I don’t know what happened, but Mr. Snyder moved back in. I guess he wanted to make the house look nicer, because he started to get all these foster kids that would live there for one or two years and work on the house. The house never started looking as nice as it did before Mr. Snyder had moved out. As far as those foster kids went, they seemed to come and go so fast that none of the kids ever really knew them that well.

The Hawk family was probably the closest to the Snyder family. Mr. Hawk died when I was about ten of obesity. He must have weighed 500 pounds. At the funeral, they had to buy two plots and cut his body in half and stick it in two caskets. The rumor on the street was that Mrs. Hawk was looking to get rid of him and thought she was abusing their child. Who knows what the truth really was, but not too long after Mr. Hawk’s funeral, a new man moved in with Mrs. Hawk. After that, the Hawk kid just wasn’t very good anymore. He always wanted to play a different game than the rest of us. If we were playing touch football in the street, he was in his backyard playing basketball or quidditch or something. He was just a terrible athlete and we didn’t really like to be around him.

The Clone family lived on our cul-de-sac and, like everyone else, just didn’t fit in. Their house was small, but it backed up to a larger house on the next street. The kid that lived there liked to play with the kid in the house behind him, but he was stuck playing with the other kids on the cul-de-sac most of the time. His dad left the family and suddenly became a powerful and successful businessman, although everyone knew he was involved in some shady business deals. The mom would try to get the son to play with everyone, but none of the kids were ever too excited about it. The last year I lived there, the Clones got a new big TV and were bragging about it to everyone on the block. Most of the people already had big televisions, except for the Starrs, of course. The Starrs didn’t have anything.

The kid from the Pinky household was an okay dude. He told me his parents bitched about living on that cul-de-sac all the time. In fact, they told everyone how much they hated it there. I found it kind of odd that when we were moving, the whole Pinky family came over and told us they really liked it on the cul-de-sac and were going to live there at least six more years, if not forever. They seemed to be lying.

The Bozworths were usually kind of quiet, but when they said anything they sounded like idiots. Their kid was good at playing games, but he cheated. When you played at game at his house, he always won, but when it was at another one of our houses, it was a different story. He wasn’t very intelligent, but, for the most part, he knew his place and kept quiet. His parents drank a lot, so he was born without a top lip, a condition known as fetal alcohol syndrome. When we moved away, his parents suddenly started looking for houses west of town, but I suppose they couldn’t qualify for a loan. Like the Pinky’s, they told us they planned to live on the cul-de-sac for several more years, and they were happy there. If they were happy, why were they looking around?

The Bozworths little cousin also lived on the street. He lived with his parents and his grandfather. According to my parents, Bozworth’s cousin’s parents didn’t make any money. No one was even sure they had jobs. The grandfather apparently had more money than they could even spend. He was a senile old man that sat around the house in a blanket spouting off a bunch of nonsense. Supposedly, Bozworth’s cousin’s parents would post some of what the grandfather said on Facebook and Twitter under the username shitmydadsays. I always felt sorry for those people. The dad had a tanning bed in the house and spiked his hair, but the senile old man ran the household.

We had another dysfunctional family on the block, the Redds. They all had herpes and it seemed one of them was breaking out all the time. The dad delivered pizzas and the mom turned tricks. The mom kicked the dad out of the house one day because he had supposedly locked their kid in a closet. Very soon after that, an older man moved in. He spent his time on internet dating sites trying to upgrade his family situation. The thing was, he wasn’t shy about it. We all knew he didn’t want to live there. His wife gave him herpes but it seemed he was hitting on every single woman in the city. He hated it on the cul-de-sac. He still lives there.

Then, there was the Brown family. Everyone hated the Brown family, except the Starrs. I saw that Starr kid masturbating outside the Brown’s front window one night. If someone got a new driveway, the Brown family immediately got a new, bigger driveway. The Pinky’s built a pool, so the Browns built a bigger pool and wouldn’t let anyone swim in it. When the Clones got their new television, the Browns upgraded all the televisions in their house and made sure they were all better than the Clones’ television. They were horrible neighbors. When they heard that we were moving, they came over five days in a row and told us they were moving to a better place. The weird thing was, everyday they told us they were moving somewhere different. In fact, they told my parents that their kid, Casey, would never play with me again if we moved. My Dad told them their kid could hang out with me once a year if they wanted to, but they said no. The Browns said they wanted their precious Casey to be hanging out with priests, and they were going to try to get priests to buy our house.

There had been two other families with kids on the block, but they had moved away a year prior to us after their houses both burned down. The empty burned out houses still sat on the street, no one bothering to rebuild them. My parents talked to the families that moved, and both of them accused the Brown kid of burning down their house. They said they talked to the Browns about it, and the Browns denied it before saying, “If you don’t like us, that’s your problem. We are who we are.”

Anyway, both families seemed pretty happy after the fires. They both moved to nicer houses in much nicer neighborhoods.


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