The main thing I remember about that day was the color gray, not cold, hard gray like steel, but soft, warm gray like a cloudy sky during a summer rain. I had walked over to a building we called the Grange. A large, gray, boxy building, it was, perhaps, a ten or fifteen minute walk from my home. Public concern about adolescents changes with the regularity of bad fashions and fad diets. That year, they were concerned about teenage idleness, about kids “hanging out” on the street. So the made a room for teenagers in the back of the Grange with pool tables and easy chairs with the intention of keeping us out of trouble no one was getting into anyway. At twelve, I technically wasn’t a teenager, but my older sister was and she said that no one checked anyone’s age. She encouraged me to stop by. The door to the room was at the back of the building and I was walking down the black top driveway that circled the building when it started to rain. It was a mild summer day and the rain felt good on my face. I paused momentarily with my back to the door, lifted my head towards the sky and enjoyed the feeling of the rain on my skin.
My reverie was interrupted by the door bursting open. “What the hell are you doing?” It was my sister. She grabbed me by my shirt and pulled me inside.
“I liked the feel of the rain.”
“People are going to think you’re a fucking freakazoid. Don’t do that again.”
I was always feeling like a freak. Still do. I looked around the room. There were older boys I didn’t know playing pool. I felt my face flush, but I didn’t know why. I wanted to stare at them, but I didn’t want them to know. I sunk into a chair and tried to fit in.