You're seven years old; you've been out in the sun sucking back cold
Pepsi and eating chocolate candy since 11 am. It's sundown and there is a
cool nip in the October dusk. Your uncle yells for you come up to the fence
so you can get a good look at your first jet race. You have a sugar rush
going that Lance Armstrong would envy. The jets fire up and your first
reaction is to dive under the bleachers.
The track cops have already told you if they catch you under the bleachers
one more time, you're dead. You edge your way up against the chain link
fence, resigned to going through life deaf, blind, and disfigured. You take
a second and glance around in the darkness at the people leaning on the
fence. You think about those sideshows at the carnivals.
The jets huff and puff and pop and lurch. Something like a blowtorch
blasts by about a foot from your face and you realize you have slugged back
a dozen 24-oz soft drinks without a trip to the bathroom. You ease your
denim jacket down around your waist and wait for the ringing in your ears to
ease up. You can't see anything except the big green florescent flame welded
on your pupils. Your uncle puts a cold one in your hand and you can't wait
'til 11 p.m. for the next round!