"Alley Ways"

by David R Moenich

 

   Copyright 1988 David R Moenich

        {original date}

   Copyright 2017 David R Moenich

       {revised/re-written date}

 

Note: Set in 1965 Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania

 

 

Jeremy stepped onto the uneven, grey slate sidewalk of Biddle Avenue. Parked by the curb was a 1965 Pontiac Tempest idling roughly, catching its breath in the damp morning air. A cloud of steam and smoke poured from the candy-apple red sedan's exhaust pipe as the 4-barrel Holley carburetor cleared its throat.

Alvin...a tall, beanpole of a boy, was Jeremy's next door neighbor. Lanky and clumsy was Alvin...enjoying being the brightest of the bright had escaped him somehow. Lighting a cigarette, Alvin solemnly and within a degrading tone of voice shouted to Jeremy, "Mornin', Germ, Babe!". With that, Alvin opened the door to his car, spitting a hocker in the air with seeming defiance to the very self-imposed existence in which he had forced himself to live. He popped the clutch in every gear of his 4-speed, Hurst stick-shift  as he sped off laying rubber as he went....leaving Jeremy in a balm of stench and despair.

 

The rising vapors slowly diffused into the overcast skies, as Jeremy glanced back at his old, 3-story farmhouse he called home and refuge. That house was indeed a farmhouse, yet it had now been surrounded by many newer homes completing a borough adjacent to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Wilkinsburg was its name. "The City of Churches" it was nicknamed, although you wouldn't be convinced of such due to the actions of the members of that community.  It was a "dry" town, prohibiting the sale of alcohol within its borders. Yet, that meant little; bars were within walking distance just across the borders of the borough.

 

The gloomy ambiance of provided, current weather conditions was only dented and slightly brightened by the clutter of fallen yellow and amber maple leaves adorning the yards, streets, walkways, and alleys. The familiar decaying odor of the foliage was enhanced by the fallen buckeyes, tobies, and monkey balls which had dropped from the trees. Adding to the aroma were the rotting pears in Jeremy's backyard...the house once harbored a pear orchard. Once alive and thriving; only three pear trees remained, producing inedible fruit, however, such were useful for throwing at your friends.

                                                                      <To Be Continued>

                                                                   

                                                           

                                                                           

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