In the late summer of 1990 some of us kids were at the park playing some kind of game. The sun had set and we were 11 years old so we all headed home. This white kid around our age I had never seen before was with us and apparently had no home to go to. The story was he ran away from the group home that was located just a few blocks away. He must have asked if he could stay at my place because I highly doubt I would have invited him. Every other summer I would be left alone for a month without supervision because Uncle Bill would leave town for a month and my mother would be working 12 hours a day.
There was no way this kid was going to stay under the same roof as us but the back of the house was kind of a junkyard. The back porch was a hoarding area that never saw light because of the enormous orange tarp sheltering it like a tent. I can’t remember any of the items on that porch except a very large rolled up carpet. It’s possible it’s the only thing I can recall because nothing else ever had any significance. I told him he could sleep on the rolled up carpet if he wanted to. He accepted. His name was Cole, I think.
The next morning I must have fed him something then Cole and I walked down to the railroad tracks. At that age I didn’t know that stories involving a strange kid and railroad tracks often had bad endings. Instead of me getting bashed over the head with a large rock though we found a pornographic magazine still mostly intact. The pages had been wearing out probably from several days or weeks of the effects of morning dew and sunshine. I think it was my first dirty magazine. Cole might have went back to his group home that day or not, I can’t remember.
Cole showed up another day. By this time Uncle Bill had come home. Cole wanted to sleep on the rolled up carpet again but he also asked for a pillow. I had to ask for permission this time. I can’t imagine that I asked Uncle Bill if some strange kid could sleep on our dirty, rolled up rug outside but I must have. I do remember asking though if I could give him a pillow because I remember his response was to give him the crappier pillow. Uncle Bill wasn’t very amused with what I brought home.
Some other day soon after he showed up on my doorstep again wanting to come in. We played a board game or a card game together. He would uncontrollably shake his head every minute or so. He told me his dad used to hit him in the head a lot. While we were playing our game he distracted me but I heard the sound of coins clanging together and then disappearing. I accused him of stealing my money. He put the coins back on the table and then I asked him to leave. Looking back now I should have just let him have the money.
He wasn’t a bad kid at all. It seemed as though he had morals and was easy to be around with. A few days later he came by again when it was pouring rain. He wanted to come in but I refused. That was the last time I ever saw him.