The Powerless Top Ten . . . er, Nine! #5

Number 5:  My Old Neighborhood

This one is a bit different, I know.  Up until now this list has been about some of my favorite pieces of fiction as a kid – movies, books, comics – and how they might have influenced Powerless.  But my old neighborhood was certainly not fiction (it wasn’t, right?).

I grew up in a pretty standard middle-class suburb, but we were on the outskirts – on the suburban frontier, if you will.  There were about ten houses scattered over a tangle of streets and cul-de-sacs, bordering a wilderness of still-undeveloped woods and farmers’ fields.  If you followed the creek behind my house for ten minutes you’d reach the lake and rickety old bridge.

It was the perfect place for an imaginative kid to have adventures.  Of course, like any good parents, my mom and dad divided up the place into boundaries – “You can follow the creek as far as the bridge, but don’t play on it and don’t cross it to the lake.  You can play in the woods behind the house but don’t go into the corn field and stay far away from the abandoned (and probably haunted) old barn beyond.”

Needless to say, I spent most of my days swimming in the lake and exploring that old barn looking for ghosts, and I’m lucky that I didn’t end up with any broken bones or worse.  But when I look back on my childhood those are the fondest memories I have.  (I’m a dad now, myself, and I’ll be setting my own boundaries soon.  But my angel of a boy can be trusted to obey, right Will?  Right?)

My world was pretty small – just a few acres when all is said and done – but it was full of excitement and mystery.  And truth be told, I miss it little.


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