The horror movies of the day became something of an obsession in those apartments. The kids would always sit on the swing set that was at the back of the complex after dark and we’d tell each other stories about all of the scary movies that we’d seen. I was still a newbie and hadn’t seen many of them because of my PBS/CBS affliction so these scare sessions just scared me even more. Of course I kind of liked it and couldn’t wait to see all of them for myself.
I think the next kid I met in the complex was Brian. He was the kid that loved GI Joe, dressed in camo every day and always talked about knives and weapons. Brian was my age and lived right across the complex from me with just him and his Mom. Chris was a kid that was a year older and lived a couple of doors down on my side. He moved shortly after but I remember he was one of those kids that was kind of a nerd, he had an Atari and knew a lot about games though. Next was Billy. He was the crazy little shit that lived next to me. When I say crazy I mean this was the kind of kid that they ruin on Ritalin these days. He used to just come out with the craziest shit and we’d all laugh our faces off. Billy had a young pretty Mom and I remember he always had the best birthday parties out of the group like McDonalds or Showbiz Pizza. I swear Billy’s apartment was always spotless when I went there, I mean where did they keep their stuff? Didn’t he play? Did he just put it all away when he was done? Why would someone do that?
There were these woods behind our apartments that our core group of boys from the complex practically lived in (cue the Stand By Me music). There was a river and downed trees that we used to crawl or walk across to get to little islands. There was also a clearing in one area that just had an upside down shopping cart and some other random junk items on the ground. Billy dubbed this area “Halloween”, don’t know why but that’s what it was. On weekend days we could go into those woods in the morning and not come out until it was dinnertime. I would shower at night and just watch the dirt run off me into the drain. Either that or the ice cream truck would always get us out of the woods. We used to get the Good Humor truck and the Mr. Softee truck during the summers and they would come by like every other day. It was probably the same guy just switching trucks. Every time I heard the truck I would say it was Good Humor, Billy bet me $100 one time that it was Mr. Softee. You know at 7 years old $100 was like all the money in the world. I lost and still owe him that $100. I wonder what 31 years of interest on that would be?